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obtaining it. This is a third reason of the wise man's weariness of his life and labours; that he should be a slave for another, and should devote all his skill and pains, and suffer so much anxiety and disquietude, only to purchase rest and idleness for his successor. This is indeed a sore evil, that one should labour, and another enjoy the fruit of it, and is often threatened as a punishment, Job v. 5; Hosea vii. 9. and viii. 7; Deut. xxviii. 30—33; Ps. xxxix. 6; Prov. xiii. 22.-" Shall he leave,” or give," it for his portion;" or, "shall he give "it his portion." That which undoubtedly after so much toil should have been his own portion, who obtained it by his industry, he is compelled by death to bequeath or leave to another, and so to make it his inheritance.

22. For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?

"For what hath man of all his labour," &c.: what is there unto a man of all his labour? what profit, comfort, and advantage can a man derive from such labour, in which all the pain is his, and all the fruit and benefit anothers? ch. i. 3. and iii. 9.-" Vexation of his heart:" those excruciating, disquieting, careful thoughts are

here noted, by which he projects and contrives all methods of gain, and of increasing and preserving a large estate, Ps. xlix. 11; Hab. ii. 5, 6; Tim. vi. 9, 10. This may refer to all the three preceding reasons. First, what has a man left to himself of all his labour and vexation? when he is dead and gone, all the world is then gone to him, Job i. 21; 1 Tim. vi. 7; Ps. xlix. 17. Secondly, what advantage has he from those pains which were taken for another, who, if he were wise, would be able to labour for himself, and if foolish, would render that labour fruitless which was bestowed to make provision for him? Job xxvii. 16, 17. Thirdly, what has he of all his diligence more than the other who sat still, and lived quietly, and saw him drudge to get him an estate without his assistance? nothing more as to interest and fruition, but a much larger share of weariness and vexation.

23. For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief: yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

These words are very emphatical, to denote the pain and trouble of him who toils for others and the wise man closes this disquisition as he did the first, ch. i. 18; but this is expressed with more emphasis, as being the


greater evil, as ver. 21. First, the words are many to express the weight of their trouble. Secondly, the word translated sorrows, signifies a very painful and excruciating grief, as of a sore wound, Jer. li. 8; and is used in the case of Israel's sorrow under their Egyptian bondage, Exod. iii. 7; and in Babylon, Lam. i. 12; and to express the sorrows of Christ, Isai. liii. 3, 4: see Job xxxiii. 19; Prov. xiv. 13. Thirdly, the abstract is used for the concrete; it is not said, all his days are sorrowful, but sorrow itself, which adds much force to the sense, as Gen. iii. 6; Ps. v. 9. and xxxix. 5; Hag. ii. 8; Gen. xii. 2; Cant. v. 16. Fourthly, the word is in the plural number, "all his days are sorrows,' i. e. full of sorrow, great sorrow, and variety of sorrow, as Is. Ixiii. 6; 2 Pet. iii. 11: so it is said, that the men of Sodom were smitten with blindnesses, Gen. xix. 11; 2 Cor. i. 3; Eccles. v. 6.—“ And his travail," or anxious and careful labour, "grief," or indignation; his wearisome employment, full of disquietude and of continual solicitude, meeting with many miscarriages and disappointments, stir up much grief and displeasure of heart. If the life of the best men be full of evil and sorrow, Gen. xlvii. 9; Ps. xc. 10; Job xiv. 1. and v. 7; much more unquiet must be their life, who labour in the fire and for very vanity, Hab. ii.

13.-" Yea, his heart taketh no rest in the night." As the day is appointed by God for labour, so the night for rest and repose, Ps. civ. 23. and cxxvii. 2; Job iv. 13: but such a person deprives himself of that blessing which God by the very season offers him, Job vii. 3, 4, 13, 14; Eccles. 5, 12; Prov. iii. 24; or, if his body, through labour and weariness, do sleep, his mind is still occupied with unquiet thoughts and cares; for the heart may be awake when the body sleeps, Cant. v. 2.

24. ¶There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

In this verse, and to the end of the chapter, is elucidated the whole sum and subject of this book, which is designed to shew what constitutes the only good which a man can attain from his worldly labour, and wherein consists the happiness of this present life; namely, in having the heart and life seasoned with the fear of God; and then, in the assurance and joy of his favour, to use all external blessings with contentment, freedom, cheerfulness, and delight, which is a special privilege the Lord

gives to his servants. The apostle comprehends all this in two words, " godliness, with contentment," 1 Tim. vi. 6. The words admit of a different reading, though to the same effect: "There is nothing better for a man, than"— so our version. The word than, according to this rendering, is to be supplied, not being in the original; and so interpreters agree, that such a word as nisi or tantum may be understood, as it is requisite to be supplied in other passages, as Isai. i. 6; where the words thus stand in the Hebrew :-" there is no soundness in it, wounds and bruises," &c.: the word but or only is necessarily introduced; no soundness, but wounds and bruises. So here, "there is nothing better for a man that he eat," the word than or but must be supplied, as it is expressed, ch. iii. 12. Others read the verse as an interrogation: "Is it not good for a man that he eat," &c. i. e. it is good. Others again render it, "This good is not in a man," i. e. in the power of man," that he eat and drink," &c. As he must leave his outward possessions, which he had acquired with so much labour, to persons who might not improve them agreeably to his wishes; so, whilst he himself continues to retain them, it is not in his power to use them, much less to enjoy them with delight and pleasure, without the special gift of God. Each inter

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