The Words of Ecclesiastes

Chapter 3

By the necessary change of times, vanity is added to human travail, 1-10. There is an excellency in God's works, 11-15. But as for man, God shall judge his works hereafter, though here he be like a beast, 16-22.

1 To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;/
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;/
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;/
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;/
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;/
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew;/
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;/
a time of war, and a time of peace.

9 What profit does he have who works in that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the labor which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has set the world in their heart so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice and to do good in his life. 13 And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor, is the gift of God. 14 I know that whatever God does shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. And God does it so that men should fear before him. 15 That which has been is now, and that which is to be has already been. And God requires that which is past.

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. 17 I said in my heart, "God will judge the righteous and the wicked." For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18 I said in my heart concerning the state of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 19 For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts, even one thing befalls them: as one dies, so the other dies. Indeed, they all have one breath, so that a man has no pre-eminence above a beast, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place. All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward, or whether the spirit of the beast goes downward to the earth? 22 Therefore, 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?


Matthew Henry Commentary - Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3[➚]