New International Version
Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.
King James Bible
That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
Darby Bible Translation
That which is was long ago, and that which is to be hath already been; and God bringeth back again that which is past.
World English Bible
That which is has been long ago, and that which is to be has been long ago: and God seeks again that which is passed away.
Young's Literal Translation
What is that which hath been? already it is, and that which is to be hath already been, and God requireth that which is pursued.
Ecclesiastes 3:15 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
That which hath been is now - God governs the world now, as he has governed it from the beginning; and the revolutions and operations of nature are the same now, that they have been from the beginning. What we see now, is the same as has been seen by those before us.
And God requireth that which is past - i.e., That it may return again in its proper order. The heavens themselves, taking in their great revolutions, show the same phenomena. Even comets are supposed to have their revolutions, though some of them are hundreds of years in going round their orbits.
But in the economy of grace, does not God require that which is past? Whatever blessing or influence God gives to the soul of man, he intends shall remain and increase; and it will, if man be faithful. Reader, canst thou produce all the secret inspirations of his Spirit, all the drawings of his love, his pardoning mercy, his sanctifying grace, the heavenly-mindedness produced in thee, thy holy zeal, thy spirit of prayer, thy tender conscience, the witness of the Spirit, which thou didst once receive and enjoy? Where are they? God requireth that which is past.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryEternity in the Heart
'He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also He hath set the world in their heart.'--ECCLES. iii. 11. There is considerable difficulty in understanding what precise meaning is to be attached to these words, and what precise bearing they have on the general course of the writer's thoughts; but one or two things are, at any rate, quite clear. The Preacher has been enumerating all the various vicissitudes of prosperity and adversity, of construction and destruction, of society and solitude, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
But Thou who Both Hast Sons, and Livest in that End of the World...
The Holy War,
A Sermon on Isaiah xxvi. By John Knox.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king's successor do than what has already been done?
Whatever exists has already been named, and what humanity is has been known; no one can contend with someone who is stronger.
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