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Ecclesiastes 5:18 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Behold, that which I have seen to be good and to be comely is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, wherein he laboreth under the sun, all the days of his life which God hath given him: for this is his portion.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Behold [that] which I have seen: [it is] good and comely [for one] to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it [is] his portion.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun [during] the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Behold [that] which I have seen: [it is] good and comely [for one] to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it [is] his portion.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Behold what I have seen good and comely: [it is] to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labour wherewith [man] laboureth under the sun, all the days of his life which God hath given him: for that is his portion.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Lo! what, I myself, have seen—Better that it should be excellent to eat and to drink and to see blessedness, in all one's toil wherein one toileth under the sun, for the number of the days of his life, in that God hath given it him, for, that, is his portion:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Lo, that which I have seen: [It is] good, because beautiful, to eat, and to drink, and to see good in all one's labour that he laboureth at under the sun, the number of the days of his life that God hath given to him, for it [is] his portion.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— This therefore hath seemed good to me, that a man should eat and drink, and enjoy the fruit of his labour, wherewith he hath laboured under the sun, all the days of his life, which God hath given him: and this is his portion.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Behold that which I haue seene: It is good and comely [for] one to eate and to drinke, and to enioy the good of all his labour that he taketh vnder the sunne, all the dayes of his life, which God giueth him: for it is his portion.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Behold, I have seen good, that it is a fine thing [for a man] to eat and to drink, and to see good in all his labour in which he may labour under the sun, [all] the number of the days of his life which God has given to him: for it is his portion.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Behold [that] which I have seen: [it is] good and comely [for one] to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which Elohim giveth him: for it [is] his portion.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Behold x2009
(2009) Complement
הִנֵּה
hinneh
{hin-nay'}
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
[that] which x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
I x589
(0589) Complement
אֲנִי
'aniy
{an-ee'}
Contracted from H0595; I.
have seen: 7200
{7200} Prime
רָאָה
ra'ah
{raw-aw'}
A primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
[it is] good 2896
{2896} Prime
טוֹב
towb
{tobe}
From H2895; good (as an adjective) in the widest sense; used likewise as a noun, both in the masculine and the feminine, the singular and the plural (good, a good or good thing, a good man or woman; the good, goods or good things, good men or women), also as an adverb (well).
and comely 3303
{3303} Prime
יָפֶה
yapheh
{yaw-feh'}
From H3302; beautiful (literally of figuratively).
[for one] to eat 398
{0398} Prime
אָכַל
'akal
{aw-kal'}
A primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
and to drink, 8354
{8354} Prime
שָׁתָה
shathah
{shaw-thaw'}
A primitive root; to imbibe (literally or figuratively).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
and to enjoy 7200
{7200} Prime
רָאָה
ra'ah
{raw-aw'}
A primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
the good 2896
{2896} Prime
טוֹב
towb
{tobe}
From H2895; good (as an adjective) in the widest sense; used likewise as a noun, both in the masculine and the feminine, the singular and the plural (good, a good or good thing, a good man or woman; the good, goods or good things, good men or women), also as an adverb (well).
of all x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
his labour 5999
{5999} Prime
עָמָל
`amal
{aw-mawl'}
From H5998; toil, that is, wearing effort; hence worry, whether of body or mind.
that he taketh 5998
{5998} Prime
עָמַל
`amal
{aw-mal'}
A primitive root; to toil, that is, work severely and with irksomeness.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
x7945
(7945) Complement
שֶׁל
shel
{shel}
For the relative H0834; used with prepositional prefix, and often followed by some pronoun affixed; on account of, what soever, which soever.
under x8478
(8478) Complement
תַּחַת
tachath
{takh'-ath}
From the same as H8430; the bottom (as depressed); only adverbially below (often with prepositional prefix underneath), in lieu of, etc.
the sun 8121
{8121} Prime
שֶׁמֶשׁ
shemesh
{sheh'-mesh}
From an unused root meaning to be brilliant; the sun; by implication the east; figuratively a ray, that is, (architecturally) a notched battlement.
all 4557
{4557} Prime
מִסְפָּר
micpar
{mis-pawr'}
From H5608; a number, definitely (arithmetical) or indefinitely (large, innumerable; small, a few); also (abstractly) narration.
the days 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
of his life, 2416
{2416} Prime
חַי
chay
{khah'-ee}
From H2421; alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively.
which x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
giveth 5414
{5414} Prime
נָתַן
nathan
{naw-than'}
A primitive root; to give, used with great latitude of application (put, make, etc.).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
him: for x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
it x1931
(1931) Complement
הוּא
huw'
{hoo}
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
[is] his portion. 2506
{2506} Prime
חֵלֶק
cheleq
{khay'-lek}
From H2505; properly smoothness (of the tongue); also an allotment.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ecclesiastes 5:18

_ _ Returns to the sentiment (Ecclesiastes 3:12, Ecclesiastes 3:13, Ecclesiastes 3:22); translate: “Behold the good which I have seen, and which is becoming” (in a man).

_ _ which God giveth — namely, both the good of his labor and his life.

_ _ his portion — legitimately. It is God’s gift that makes it so when regarded as such. Such a one will use, not abuse, earthly things (1 Corinthians 7:31). Opposed to the anxious life of the covetous (Ecclesiastes 5:10, Ecclesiastes 5:17).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

_ _ Solomon, from the vanity of riches hoarded up, here infers that the best course we can take is to use well what we have, to serve God with it, to do good with it, and take the comfort of it to ourselves and our families; this he had pressed before, Ecclesiastes 2:24; Ecclesiastes 3:22. Observe, 1. What it is that is here recommended to us, not to indulge the appetites of the flesh, or to take up with present pleasures or profits for our portion, but soberly and moderately to make use of what Providence has allotted for our comfortable passage through this world. We must not starve ourselves through covetousness, because we cannot afford ourselves food convenient, nor through eagerness in our worldly pursuits, nor through excessive care and grief, but eat and drink what is fit for us to keep our bodies in good plight for the serving of our souls in God's service. We must not kill ourselves with labour, and then leave others to enjoy the good of it, but take the comfort of that which our hands have laboured for, and that not now and then, but all the days of our life which God gives us. Life is God's gift, and he has appointed us the number of the days of our life (Job 14:5); let us therefore spend those days in serving the Lord our God with joyfulness and gladness of heart. We must not do the business of our calling as a drudgery, and make ourselves slaves to it, but we must rejoice in our labour, not grasp at more business than we can go through without perplexity and disquiet, but take a pleasure in the calling wherein God has put us, and go on in the business of it with cheerfulness. This it to rejoice in our labour, whatever it is, as Zebulun in his going out and Issachar in his tents. 2. What is urged to recommend it to us. (1.) That it is good and comely to do this. It is well, and it looks well. Those that cheerfully use what God has given them thereby honour the giver, answer the intention of the gift, act rationally and generously, do good in the world, and make what they have turn to the best account, and this is both their credit and their comfort; it is good and comely; there is duty and decency in it. (2.) That it is all the good we can have out of the things of this world: It is our portion, and in doing thus we take our portion, and make the best of bad. This is our part of our worldly possession. God must have his part, the poor theirs, and our families theirs, but this is ours; it is all that falls to our lot out of them. (3.) That a heart to do thus is such a gift of God's grace as crowns all the gifts of his providence. If God has given a man riches and wealth, he completes the favour, and makes that a blessing indeed, if withal he gives him power to eat thereof, wisdom and grace to take the good of it and to do good with it. If this is God's gift, we must covet it earnestly as the best gift relating to our enjoyments in this world. (4.) That this is the way to make our own lives easy and to relieve ourselves against the many toils and troubles which our lives on earth are incident to (Ecclesiastes 5:20): He shall not much remember the days of his life, the days of his sorrow and sore travail, his working days, his weeping days. He shall either forget them or remember them as waters that pass away; he shall not much lay to heart his crosses, nor long retain the bitter relish of them, because God answers him in the joy of his heart, balances all the grievances of his labour with the joy of it and recompenses him for it by giving him to eat the labour of his hands. If he does not answer all his desires and expectations, in the letter of them, yet he answers them with that which is more than equivalent, in the joy of his heart. A cheerful spirit is a great blessing; it makes the yoke of our employments easy and the burden of our afflictions light.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ecclesiastes 5:18

Good — Good or comfortable to a man's self, and comely or amiable in the eye of other men. His portion — Of worldly goods; he hath a better portion in heaven. This liberty is given him by God, and this is the best advantage, as to this life, which he can make of them.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ecclesiastes 5:18

Behold [that] which I have seen: [it is] good and proper [for one] to (o) eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it [is] his portion.

(o) See Ecclesiastes 3:22

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
it is good and comely:
Heb. there is a good which is comely, etc.
Ecclesiastes 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.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 I know that [there is] no good in them, but for [a man] to rejoice, and to do good in his life. ... And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it [is] the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 3:22 Wherefore I perceive that [there is] nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that [is] his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
Ecclesiastes 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these [things] God will bring thee into judgment.
1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

the days:
Heb. the number of the days

it is his:

Ecclesiastes 2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
Ecclesiastes 3:22 Wherefore I perceive that [there is] nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that [is] his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
Jeremiah 52:34 And [for] his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.
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Ec 2:10, 24; 3:12, 22; 8:15; 9:7; 11:9. Jr 52:34. 1Ti 6:17.

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