Ecclesiastes 4:9-16

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.


Two are better which is especially true in marriage, friendships, partnerships instead of living the life of a solitary miser who only lives for themselves.  With two involved in business, they have twice as much chance to succeed instead of the single miser who only depends upon himself and if he makes a bad decision then he could go bankrupt but if you have a partner in business then you have someone of equal character and intelligence to discuss any possible ventures with thus reducing the chance of failure.


Ecclesiastes 4:10

For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.


This verse can be applied to marriage, friendships, partnerships and even family members.  If a person falls, which can be falling from a position in business or makes a wrong decision within marriage or if a person becomes sick then the other person can help strengthen them and bring them back to health, whether it be physical health or financial health.  The person who chooses to stand alone in this world will find that if he falls then he must, of himself, do all the chores of life plus bring himself back to strength to be able to once again live as he did before.  This is the great danger of rejecting people when you are healthy because when you become sick or disabled, and it will happen, you will then be on your own without any help.  This verse can also be applied to Christianity because when you are in a group of believers, there will be less possibility of you falling into sin since you will have a group to be accountable to.  If you do fall, there will be others there to help restore you.


Ecclesiastes 4:11

Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?


This is also one of the principles of survival if you are caught out in the winter or if your car breaks down in winter.  Two people can bundle themselves up and each can benefit from each other’s body heat to the point of staying alive.  If a husband and wife come close together in bed, they will warm up much faster than a single person who has only one source of heat which would be their body.  Solomon is continuing to stress that there is advantages of friendship and marriage beyond material wealth.


Ecclesiastes 4:12

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.


If a single person is attacked by a robber or some other criminal there is a good chance that the single person will be overcome and maybe suffer physical harm.  If a robber breaks into a house and is confronted by two who will defend their home, then there is a much better chance the robber will be overcome.  Then Solomon takes it one step further and states that if there are three friends in the house, the three fold cord is not easily broken.  One against three could be insurmountable odds and would cause the criminal to run.  The threefold cord has a spiritual meaning for those who are believers and are married.  The husband and wife make up the twofold cord but with the Lord is a threefold cord who binds and keeps the marriages together if someone attempts to hurt that marriage by lies or adultery.


Ecclesiastes 4:13

Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.


A poor and wise child still has their lives ahead of them and if they have much wisdom will make the proper decisions as they grow older and those decisions will not only affect them but others around them.  We saw this in the life of Joseph.  An old and foolish man, whether he be nobility or just a guy on the street, will be set in their ways and will not take advice from anyone especially someone younger than them.  Basically, those who will not be admonished are those who are at the height of stubbornness.  And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.  (Psalm 78:8)  People who will not take advice when they are going in the wrong direction are trouble waiting to happen.


Ecclesiastes 4:14

For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.


Joseph was sold into slavery by his brethren and then when he was doing well in the house of Potiphar his wife accused him of sexual misconduct.  Then he went into prison for more than two years and when he came out of prison he was raised to the position of Governor of Egypt which was the second highest rank in the entire land.  Then the old king who would not be admonished would become poor because a person who refuses to take counsel will soon find themselves in a state of poverty.  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.  (Proverbs 12:15)  The first two lines of the Poem by John Donne (1572-1631) who was a Christian, “No man is an island entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent,...”


Ecclesiastes 4:15

I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.


Then Solomon considers or tries to discern all the people who were alive on the earth that lived under the sun.  The Solomon mentions the heir of the throne of the foolish king who would not admonished.  Eventually the old king would either die or be replaced when he was still alive for incompetence.  The wise child will discern the people and how they behaved toward the king and what they thought and what was their general attitude and what they needed in a king to guide them.


Ecclesiastes 4:16

There is no 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 of spirit.


Then Solomon speaks about the people themselves how before he spoke about one generation that will go and another will come.  Here he comments about the fact that there seems to be no end of all the people as the populations keep growing.  There were many people before the old king came to power and even those who will be ruled by the wise child who will grow up with that generation will not see anyone rejoicing in him because the same scenario exists in every generation and that is the rich rule over the poor and there is never any middle ground as the rich always exploit the poor.  The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.  (Proverbs 22:7)  Solomon also sees this as vanity and vexation of the spirit because that division between rich and poor will exist in every generation till we reach the last one.