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3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
3:9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? 3:10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
3:12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
3:13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
3:14 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.
3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
3:16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
3:17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? 3:22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

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King James Bible:Ecclesiastes

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Ecclesiastes
Book: Ecclesiastes
Chapter: 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

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.

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