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.
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