4:1 So a I returned, and considered all the oppressions that
are done under the sun: and behold the tears of [such as
were] oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side
of their oppressors [there was] power; but they had no
(a) He makes here another discourse with himself concerning
the tyranny of them that oppressed the poor.
4:2 Wherefore I praised the b dead who are already dead more
than the living who are yet alive.
(b) Because they are no longer subject to these oppressions.
4:3 Yea, c better [is he] than both they, who hath not yet
been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the
(c) He speaks according to the judgment of the flesh which
cannot abide to feel or see troubles.
4:4 Again, I considered all labour, and every d right work,
that for this a man is envied by his neighbour. This [is]
also vanity and vexation of spirit.
(d) The more perfect that the work is, the more it is envied
by the wicked.
4:5 The fool foldeth his hands together, and e eateth his own
(e) For idleness he is compelled to destroy himself.
4:9f Two [are] better than one; because they have a good
reward for their labour.
(f) As when man is alone, he can neither help himself nor
others, he shows that men should live in mutual society
to the intent that they may be profitable one to
another, and that their things may increase.
4:12 And if one prevaileth against him, two shall withstand him;
and a threefold g cord is not quickly broken.
(g) By this proverb he declares how necessary it is, that
men should live in society.
4:14 For out of h prison he cometh to reign; though also [he
that is] i born in his kingdom becometh poor.
(h) That is, from a poor and base estate or out of trouble
and prison as Joseph did, (Ge 41:14).
(i) Meaning, that is born a king.
4:15 I considered all the living who walk under the sun, k
with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.
(k) Who follow and flatter the king's son, or him that will
succeed to enter into credit with them in hope of gain.
4:16 [There is] no l end of all the people, [even] of all that
have been before them: they also that come after shall not
rejoice in him. Surely this also [is] vanity and vexation
(l) They never cease by all means to creep into favour, but
when they do not obtain their greedy desires they think
themselves abused, as others have been in times past,
and so care no more for him.