Ecclesiastes

1611 King James Version (KJV)

 

Ecclesiastes
Chapter 3

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1 To euery thing there is a season, and a time to euery purpose vnder the heauen.

2 A time to be borne, and a time to die: a time to plant, and a time to pluck vp that which is planted.

3 A time to kill, and a time to heale: a time to breake downe, and a time to build vp.

4 A time to weepe, and a time to laugh: a time to mourne, and a time to dance.

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together: a time to imbrace, and a time to refraine from imbracing.

6 A time to get, and a time to lose: a time to keepe, and a time to cast away.

7 A time to rent, and a time to sow: a time to keepe silence, and a time to speake.

8 A time to loue, and a time to hate: a time of warre, and a time of peace.

9 What profite hath hee that worketh, in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I haue seene the trauaile which God hath giuen to the sonnes of men, to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made euery thing beautifull in his time: also hee hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can finde out the worke that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to reioyce, and to doe good in his life.

13 And also that euery man should eate and drinke, and enioy the good of all his labour: it is the gift of God.

14 I know that whatsoeuer God doeth, it shalbe for euer: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doth it, that men should feare before him.

15 That which hath beene, is now: and that which is to be, hath alreadie beene, and God requireth that which is past.

16 And moreouer, I sawe vnder the Sunne the place of iudgement, that wickednesse was there; and the place of righteousnesse, that iniquitie was there.

17 I said in mine heart, God shall iudge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there, for euery purpose and for euery worke.

18 I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sonnes of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselues are beasts.

19 For that which befalleth the sonnes of men, befalleth beastes, euen one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea they haue all one breath, so that a man hath no preheminence aboue a beast; for all is vanitie.

20 All goe vnto one place, all are of the dust, and all turne to dust againe.

21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth vpward; and the spirit of the beast that goeth downeward to the earth?

22 Wherefore I perceiue that there is nothing better, then that a man should reioyce in his owne workes: for that is his portion; for who shall bring him to see what shalbe after him?

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Commentary for Ecclesiastes 3

The changes of human affairs. (1-10) The Divine counsels unchangeable. (11-15) The vanity of worldly power. (16-22)1-10 To expect unchanging happiness in a changing world, must end in disappointment. To bring ourselves to our state in life, is our duty and wisdom in this world. God's whole plan for the government of the world will be found altogether wise, just, and good. Then let us seize the favourable opportunity for every good purpose and work. The time to die is fast approaching. Thus labour and sorrow fill the world. This is given us, that we may always have something to do; none were sent into the world to be idle.

11-15 Every thing is as God made it; not as it appears to us. We have the world so much in our hearts, are so taken up with thoughts and cares of worldly things, that we have neither time nor spirit to see God's hand in them. The world has not only gained possession of the heart, but has formed thoughts against the beauty of God's works. We mistake if we think we were born for ourselves; no, it is our business to do good in this life, which is short and uncertain; we have but little time to be doing good, therefore we should redeem time. Satisfaction with Divine Providence, is having faith that all things work together for good to them that love him. God doeth all, that men should fear before him. The world, as it has been, is, and will be. There has no change befallen us, nor has any temptation by it taken us, but such as is common to men.

16-22 Without the fear of the Lord, man is but vanity; set that aside, and judges will not use their power well. And there is another Judge that stands before the door. With God there is a time for the redressing of grievances, though as yet we see it not. Solomon seems to express his wish that men might perceive, that by choosing this world as their portion, they brought themselves to a level with the beasts, without being free, as they are, from present vexations and a future account. Both return to the dust from whence they were taken. What little reason have we to be proud of our bodies, or bodily accomplishments! But as none can fully comprehend, so few consider properly, the difference between the rational soul of man, and the spirit or life of the beast. The spirit of man goes upward, to be judged, and is then fixed in an unchangeable state of happiness or misery. It is as certain that the spirit of the beast goes downward to the earth; it perishes at death. Surely their case is lamentable, the height of whose hopes and wishes is, that they may die like beasts. Let our inquiry be, how an eternity of existence may be to us an eternity of enjoyment? To answer this, is the grand design of revelation. Jesus is revealed as the Son of God, and the Hope of sinners.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Ecclesiastes 3

  • Michael
    I think this a the pivotal chapter of Ecc that turns the mood of the wise teacher from the futility of work, toil and life without God in the first 2 chapters, to the realization that there IS a time for every purpose under heaven but ONLY with God's direction, purpose and love. The Wise One then gives more examples of the difference between mans life works without God and the Beasts.
  • Agnes Kane
    I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

    M so in awe of God, especially since i have been studying this whole book of Ecc. i believe its about our purpose in life, what was the intention of the Creator for, for us to revere him in all, worship him for who he is, he created all
  • Judy N
    I haven't read all the comments yet, but there are two that speak to me... Isaac Anyolo's comment the preaching of God's Word is not eternal we need to use this time now to win souls to God and April Sims comment on 8.8.15 what already has been that which is to be already has been - God allows history to repeat itself.
  • Paul Henry
    know if you read this book carefully which is Ecclesiastes 3-8 To every thing there is season,and
    a time to every purpose under the heaven.
  • Jessica
    Amen! , Thankyou Jesus!
  • Judy
    We are always busy in this life, and there seems to be a time for all affairs, they come and go with seasons. As surely as we will return to dust-so to the seasons with their seemingly deep ties to our lives, all affairs really held little meaning, in comparison to where we are going and where we belong.

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