Ecclesiastes 7:6 MEANING

Ecclesiastes 7:6
(6) There is again a play on words, which German translators represent by "the crackling of nettle under the kettle," and Plumptre "the crackling of stubble which makes the pot bubble." The reference plainly is to the quick blazing up and quick going out of the flame.

Verse 6. - For as the crackling of thorns under a pot. There is a play of words in the Hebrew, "The crackling of sirim under a sir," which Wright expresses by translating, "Like the noise of the nettles under the kettles." In the East, and where wood is scarce, thorns, hay, and stubble are used for fuel (Psalm 58:9; Psalm 120:4; Matthew 6:30). Such materials are quickly kindled, blaze up for a time with much noise, and soon die away (Psalm 118:12). So is the laughter of the fool. The point of comparison is the loud crackling and the short duration of the fire with small results. So the fool's mirth is boisterous and noisy, but comes to a speedy end, and is spent to no good purpose. So in Job (Job 20:5) we have, "The triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment." All this profitless mirth is again nothing but vanity.

7:1-6 Reputation for piety and honesty is more desirable than all the wealth and pleasure in this world. It will do more good to go to a funeral than to a feast. We may lawfully go to both, as there is occasion; our Saviour both feasted at the wedding of his friend in Cana, and wept at the grave of his friend in Bethany. But, considering how apt we are to be vain and indulge the flesh, it is best to go to the house of mourning, to learn the end of man as to this world. Seriousness is better than mirth and jollity. That is best for us which is best for our souls, though it be unpleasing to sense. It is better to have our corruptions mortified by the rebuke of the wise, than to have them gratified by the song of fools. The laughter of a fool is soon gone, the end of his mirth is heaviness.For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool,.... As thorns are weak, useless, and unprofitable; yea, hurtful and pernicious, and only fit for burning; so are foolish and wicked men, 2 Samuel 23:6; and as the noise and sound of the one under a pot is very short, they make a blaze for a while, and is soon over; so though the laughter of a fool is loud and noisy, it makes no melody, no more than the noise of thorns; and is but for a moment, and will be soon changed for weeping and howling, which will last for ever; see Job 20:5;

this also is vanity; the carnal mirth of wicked men.

Courtesy of Open Bible