Ecclesiastes 5:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.

King James Bible
As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

American Standard Version
As he came forth from his mother's womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing for his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.

Douay-Rheims Bible
As he came forth naked from his mother's womb, so shall he return, and shall take nothing away with him of his labour.

English Revised Version
As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing for his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

Webster's Bible Translation
As he came into the world, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.

Ecclesiastes 5:15 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The author, on the other hand, now praises the patriarchal form of government based on agriculture, whose king takes pride, not in bloody conquests and tyrannical caprice, but in the peaceful promotion of the welfare of his people: "But the advantage of a country consists always in a king given to the arable land." What impossibilities have been found here, even by the most recent expositors! Ewald, Heiligst., Elster, Zckl. translate: rex agro factus equals terrae praefectus; but, in the language of this book, not עבד but מלך עשׁה is the expression used for "to make a king." Gesen., Win., de Wette, Knobel, Vaih. translate: rex qui colitur a terra (civibus). But could a country, in the sense of its population in subjection to the king, be more inappropriately designated than by שׂדה? Besides, עבד certainly gains the meaning of colere where God is the object; but with a human ruler as the object it means servire and nothing more, and נעבּד

(Note: Thus pointed rightly in J., with Sheva quiesc. and Dagesh in Beth; vid., Kimchi in Michlol 63a, and under עבד.)

can mean nothing else than "dienstbar gemacht" made subject to, not "honoured." Along with this signification, related denom. to עבד, נעבד, referred from its primary signification to שׂדה, the open fields (from שׂדה, to go out in length and breadth), may also, after the phrase עבד האדמה, signify cultivated, wrought, tilled; and while the phrase "made subject to" must be certainly held as possible (Rashi, Aben Ezra, and others assume it without hesitation), but is without example, the Niph. occurs, e.g., at Ezekiel 36:9, in the latter signification, of the mountains of Israel: "ye shall be tilled." Under Ecclesiastes 5:8, Hitzig, and with him Stuart and Zckler, makes the misleading remark that the Chethı̂b is בּכל־היא, and that it is equals בּכל־זאת, according to which the explanation is then given: the protection and security which an earthly ruler secures is, notwithstanding this, not to be disparaged. But היא is Chethı̂b, for which the Kerı̂ substitutes הוּא; בּכּל is Chethı̂b without Kerı̂; and that בּכל is thus a modification of the text, and that, too, an objectionable one, since בכל־היא, in the sense of "in all this," is unheard of. The Kerı̂ seeks, without any necessity, to make the pred. and subj. like one another in gender; without necessity, for היא may also be neut.: the advantage of a land is this, viz., what follows. And how בּכּל is to be understood is seen from Ezra 10:17, where it is to be explained: And they prepared

(Note: That כלה ב may mean "to be ready with anything," Keil erroneously points to Genesis 44:12; and Philippi, St. Const. p. 49, thinks that vǎkol ǎnāshim can be taken together in the sense of vakol haanashim.)

the sum of the men, i.e., the list of the men, of such as had married strange wives; cf. 1 Chronicles 7:5. Accordingly בכל here means, as the author generally uses הכל mostly in the impersonal sense of omnia: in omnibus, in all things equals by all means; or: in universum, in general. Were the words accentuated מלך לשדה נעבד, the adject. connection of לשׂ נע would thereby be shown; according to which the lxx and Theod. translate τοῦ αγροῦ εἰργασμένου; Symm., with the Syr., τῇ χώρα εἰργασμένη: "a king for the cultivated land," i.e., one who regards this as a chief object. Luzz. thus indeed accentuates; but the best established accentuation is מלך לשדה נעבד. This separation of נעבד from לש can only be intended to denote that נעבד is to be referred not to it, but to מלך, according to which the Targ. paraphrases. The meaning remains the same: a king subject (who has become a servus) to the cultivated land, rex agro addictus, as Dathe, Rosenm., and others translate, is a still more distinct expression of that which "a king for the well-cultivated field" would denote: an agriculture-king, - one who is addicted, not to wars, lawsuits, and sovereign stubbornness in his opinions, but who delights in the peaceful advancement of the prosperity of his country, and especially takes a lively interest in husbandry and the cultivation of the land. The order of the words in Ecclesiastes 5:8 is like that at Ecclesiastes 9:2; cf. Isaiah 8:22; Isaiah 22:2. The author thus praises, in contrast to a despotic state, a patriarchal kingdom based on agriculture.

Ecclesiastes 5:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away...

Psalm 49:17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.

Luke 12:20 But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be...

1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

Cross References
1 Timothy 6:7
for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.

Job 1:21
And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."

Psalm 49:17
For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him.

Ecclesiastes 5:14
and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand.

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