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Ecclesiastes 6:3 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— If a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul be not filled with good, and moreover he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— If a man beget an hundred [children], and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also [that] he have no burial; I say, [that] an untimely birth [is] better than he.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— If a man fathers a hundred [children] and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a [proper] burial, [then] I say, “Better the miscarriage than he,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— If a man begetteth a hundred [children], and liveth many years, so that the days of his years are many, and his soul is not filled with good, and also [that] he hath no burial; I say, [that] an untimely birth [is] better than he.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— If a man beget a hundred [sons], and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, but his soul be not filled with good, and also he have no burial, I say an untimely birth is better than he.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Though a man should beget a hundred children, and live, many years, so that many should be the days of his years but, his own soul, should not be satisfied with the good, and he should not even have, a burial, I said, Better than he, is an untimely birth!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— If a man doth beget a hundred, and live many years, and is great, because they are the days of his years, and his soul is not satisfied from the goodness, and also he hath not had a grave, I have said, 'Better than he [is] the untimely birth.'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— If a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, and attain to a great age, and his soul make no use of the goods of his substance, and he be without burial: of this man I pronounce, that the untimely born is better than he.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— If a man beget an hundred [children], and liue many yeeres, so that the dayes of his yeeres bee many: and his soule be not filled with good, and also that he haue no buriall, I say, [that] an vntimely birth [is] better then he.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— If a man beget a hundred [children], and live many years, yea, however abundant the days of his years shall be, yet [if] his soul shall not be satisfied with good, and also he have no burial; I said, An untimely birth is better than he.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— If a man beget an hundred [children], and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also [that] he have no burial; I say, [that] an untimely birth [is] better than he.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
If x518
(0518) Complement
אִם
'im
{eem}
A primitive particle; used very widely as demonstrative, lo!; interrogitive, whether?; or conditional, if, although; also Oh that!, when; hence as a negative, not.
a man 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
beget 3205
{3205} Prime
יָלַד
yalad
{yaw-lad'}
A primitive root; to bear young; causatively to beget; medically to act as midwife; specifically to show lineage.
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
an hundred 3967
{3967} Prime
מֵאָה
me'ah
{may-aw'}
Probably a primitive numeral; a hundred; also as a multiplicative and a fraction.
[children], and live 2421
{2421} Prime
חָיַה
chayah
{khaw-yaw'}
A prim root (compare H2331, H2424); to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively to revive.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
many 7227
{7227} Prime
רַב
rab
{rab}
By contraction from H7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality).
years, 8141
{8141} Prime
שָׁנֵה
shaneh
{shaw-neh'}
(The first form being in plural only, the second form being feminine); from H8138; a year (as a revolution of time).
so that 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 years 8141
{8141} Prime
שָׁנֵה
shaneh
{shaw-neh'}
(The first form being in plural only, the second form being feminine); from H8138; a year (as a revolution of time).
be 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.
x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
many, 7227
{7227} Prime
רַב
rab
{rab}
By contraction from H7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality).
and his soul 5315
{5315} Prime
נֶפֶשׁ
nephesh
{neh'-fesh}
From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).
be not x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
filled 7646
{7646} Prime
שָׂבַע
saba`
{saw-bah'}
A primitive root; to sate, that is, fill to satisfaction (literally or figuratively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
with x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
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 also x1571
(1571) Complement
גַּם
gam
{gam}
By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and.
[that] he have x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
no x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
burial; 6900
{6900} Prime
קְבוּרָה
q@buwrah
{keb-oo-raw'}
Feminine passive participle of H6912; sepulture; (concretely) a sepulchre.
I say, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
[that] an untimely birth 5309
{5309} Prime
נֶפֶל
nephel
{neh'-fel}
From H5307; something fallen, that is, an abortion.
[is] better 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).
than x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
he.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:3

_ _ Even if a man (of this character) have very many (equivalent to “a hundred,” 2 Kings 10:1) children, and not have a “stranger” as his heir (Ecclesiastes 6:2), and live long (“days of years” express the brevity of life at its best, Genesis 47:9), yet enjoy no real “good” in life, and lie unhonored, without “burial,” at death (2 Kings 9:26, 2 Kings 9:35), the embryo is better than he. In the East to be without burial is the greatest degradation. “Better the fruit that drops from the tree before it is ripe than that left to hang on till rotten” [Henry].

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Ecclesiastes 6:1-6.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ecclesiastes 6:3

With good — He hath not a contented mind and comfortable enjoyment of his estate. Is better — Which as it never enjoyed the comforts, so it never felt the calamities of life.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ecclesiastes 6:3

If a man begetteth an hundred [children], and liveth many years, so that the days of his years are many, and his soul is not (b) filled with good, and also [that] he hath no (c) burial; I say, [that] an untimely birth [is] better than he.

(b) If he can never have enough.

(c) As we see often that the covetous man either falls into crimes that deserve death, or is murdered or drowned or hangs himself or such like and so lacks the honour of burial, which is the last office of humanity.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
a man:

Genesis 33:5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who [are] those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
1 Samuel 2:20-21 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. ... And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
2 Kings 10:1 And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's [children], saying,
1 Chronicles 28:5 And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.
2 Chronicles 11:21 And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)
Esther 5:11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all [the things] wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Psalms 127:4-5 As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man; so [are] children of the youth. ... Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Proverbs 17:6 Children's children [are] the crown of old men; and the glory of children [are] their fathers.

so:

Ecclesiastes 5:17-19 All his days also he eateth in darkness, and [he hath] much sorrow and wrath with his sickness. ... Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this [is] the gift of God.
Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage [are] an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

and also:

2 Kings 9:35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of [her] hands.
Esther 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.
Esther 9:14-15 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons. ... For the Jews that [were] in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.
Isaiah 14:19-20 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. ... Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, [and] slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
Jeremiah 22:19 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 36:30 Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.

that an:

Ecclesiastes 4:3 Yea, better [is he] than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
Job 3:16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants [which] never saw light.
Psalms 58:8 As a snail [which] melteth, let [every one of them] pass away: [like] the untimely birth of a woman, [that] they may not see the sun.
Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 33:5; 47:9. 1S 2:20. 2K 9:35; 10:1. 1Ch 28:5. 2Ch 11:21. Es 5:11; 7:10; 9:14. Jb 3:16. Ps 58:8; 127:4. Pv 17:6. Ec 4:3; 5:17. Is 14:19. Jr 22:19; 36:30. Mt 26:24.

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