The Conclusions of the Preacher and His Advice on Various Subjects
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 12:7
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 12:7
O U T L I N E
Preface: The Inexplicable Purpose of God
A Time For Every Purpose (3:1-8)
1 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to seek, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace.
Man’s inability to Find Out God’s Purpose (3:9-15)
9 What profit hath he that worketh from that wherein he laboureth? 10 I have seen the travail that God hath given to the sons of men to toil in. 11 He hath made everything beautiful in its time; also he hath set the world in their heart, so that man findeth not out from the beginning to the end the work that God doeth. 12 I know that there is nothing good for them but to rejoice and to do well in their life; 13 yea also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy good in all his labour, it is the gift of God. 14 I know that whatever God doeth, it shall be for ever; there is nothing to be added to it, nor anything to be taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. 15 That which is was long ago, and that which is to be hath already been; and God bringeth back again that which is past.
The Injustice and Wickedness of Men Will be Avenged in Time (3:16-22)
16 And moreover I saw under the sun, that in the place of judgment, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18 I said in my heart, It is thus with the children of men, that God may prove them, and that they should see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what befalleth the children of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other, and they have all one breath; and man hath no pre-eminence above the beast: for all is vanity. 20 All go unto one place: all are of the dust, and all return to dust. 21 Who knoweth the spirit of the children of men? Doth it go upwards? and the spirit of the beasts, doth it go downwards to the earth? 22 And I have seen that there is nothing better than that man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion; for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?