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4But whoever is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no more reward, and even the memory of them is lost. 6Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished; never again will they have any share in all that happens under the sun.


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4. For—rather, "Nevertheless." English Version rightly reads as the Margin, Hebrew, "that is joined," instead of the text, "who is to be chosen?"

hope—not of mere temporal good (Job 14:7); but of yet repenting and being saved.

dog—metaphor for the vilest persons (1Sa 24:14).

lion—the noblest of animals (Pr 30:30).

better—as to hope of salvation; the noblest who die unconverted have no hope; the vilest, so long as they have life, have hope.

5. know that they shall die—and may thereby be led "so to number their days, that they may apply their hearts to wisdom" (Ec 7:1-4; Ps 90:12).

dead know not anything—that is, so far as their bodily senses and worldly affairs are concerned (Job 14:21; Isa 63:16); also, they know no door of repentance open to them, such as is to all on earth.

neither … reward—no advantage from their worldly labors (Ec 2:18-22; 4:9).

memory—not of the righteous (Ps 112:6; Mal 3:16), but the wicked, who with all the pains to perpetuate their names (Ps 49:11) are soon "forgotten" (Ec 8:10).

6. love, and … hatred, &c.—(referring to Ec 9:1; see on Ec 9:1). Not that these cease in a future world absolutely (Eze 32:27; Re 22:11); but as the end of this verse shows, relatively to persons and things in this world. Man's love and hatred can no longer be exercised for good or evil in the same way as here; but the fruits of them remain. What he is at death he remains for ever. "Envy," too, marks the wicked as referred to, since it was therewith that they assailed the righteous (see on Ec 9:1).

portion—Their "portion" was "in this life" (Ps 17:14), that they now "cannot have any more."




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