New Living Translation
So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living.
King James Bible
Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.
Darby Bible Translation
Then I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive;
World English Bible
Therefore I praised the dead who have been long dead more than the living who are yet alive.
Young's Literal Translation
And I am praising the dead who have already died above the living who are yet alive.
Ecclesiastes 4:2 Parallel
CommentaryWesley's Notes on the Bible
4:2 I praised - I judged them less miserable. For this is certain, that setting aside the future life, which Solomon doth not meddle with in the present debate; and considering the uncertainty, and vanity, and manifold calamities of the present life, a wise man would not account it worth his while to live.
It is not surprising that the book of Ecclesiastes had a struggle to maintain its place in the canon, and it was probably only its reputed Solomonic authorship and the last two verses of the book that permanently secured its position at the synod of Jamnia in 90 A.D. The Jewish scholars of the first century A.D. were struck by the manner in which it contradicted itself: e.g., "I praised the dead more than the living," iv. 2, "A living dog is better than a dead lion," ix. 4; but they were still more …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
"Why wasn't I born dead? Why didn't I die as I came from the womb?
So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless--like chasing the wind.
A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss. Instead, weep for the captive king being led away! For he will never return to see his native land again.
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