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Enjoy life with the wife whom you have loved all the days of your pointless life that he has given you under the sun, all your days of pointlessness, for that is your portion in life and in your labor in which you labor under the sun. Bible

“Enjoy life.” The Hebrew is literally, “See life,” using “see” in its idiomatic sense of “experience” (as in the phrase, he will not “see death,” i.e., die). Thus to “see life” with your wife is to “experience life,” and in this context, “enjoy life.”

“have loved.” The Hebrew verb is in the perfect tense, “have loved.” Although it may be the man’s love has continued, it seems clear that the Sage is pointing out that at one time the man had a great love for his wife, no matter how he felt about her now.

“pointless.” See commentary on Ecclesiastes 1:2. Here again we see the meaning “temporary” become more important than just “pointless.”

“for that is your portion in life and in your labor.” Enjoying life and being with the wife that you loved is your portion in life and in your labor; that is, the wife is to be a part of your life and a support and joy in your life and in your work. Ecclesiastes 9:9 continues the theme of finding joy in life that was clear in Ecclesiastes 9:8; “he who finds a wife finds a good thing” (Prov. 18:22). Wine, oil, and wonderful companionship were designed by God to help make this difficult life joyful.


Commentary for: Ecclesiastes 9:9