Ecclesiastes 6 – Smelling the Roses

Solomon's Temple Vista

Solomon’s Temple Vista (Photo credit: arbyreed)

Chapter 6 is a difficult one to understand; and there is some variety among some commentators as to what is meant by some of it.  The “evil” that is spoken of in verses 1-3 seems to us to refer to a person who is blessed with much material wealth and standing among others, yet is so self-centered that he takes much for granted, and is never satisfied.  That line of thought is continued in verses 4-6. The NASB translates the reference to burial as a “proper burial.”  This could mean that this self-centered person who had so much was not so honored in his death.  Solomon once again refers to someone who never lived being better off than such a person (verse 3).

Verses 10-12 are seen as a very pessimistic outlook on life by Solomon, and indeed it may be so.  But the somewhat elusive meaning could be more along the lines that people must learn to accept the hand that has been dealt them and move on.  It does no good to fret and worry about what will be.  In the end, he does not know what will come next “under the sun” after he is gone. It seems to us that Solomon is merely continuing to stress that one must find his pleasure in his work and his life in the few days that he has been blessed with on this earth, remembering that what comes next is what really matters.


Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  


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