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Ecclesiastes 7:3 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made glad.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Sorrow [is] better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Sorrow [is] better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Vexation is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Better is grief than laughter,—for, by the marring of the face, amended is the heart.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Better [is] sorrow than laughter, For by the sadness of the face the heart becometh better.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Anger is better than laughter: because by the sadness of the countenance the mind of the offender is corrected.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Sorrow [is] better then laughter: for by the sadnesse of the countenance the heart is made better.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart will be made better.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Sorrow [is] better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Sorrow 3708
{3708} Prime
From H3707; vexation.
[is] better 2896
{2896} Prime
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 laughter: 7814
{7814} Prime
From H7832; laughter (in meriment or defiance).
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
for x3588
(3588) Complement
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.
by the sadness 7455
{7455} Prime
From H7489; badness (as marring), physically or morally.
of the countenance 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
the heart 3820
{3820} Prime
A form of H3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything.
is made better. 3190
{3190} Prime
A primitive root; to be (causatively) make well, literally (sound, beautiful) or figuratively (happy, successful, right).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ecclesiastes 7:3

_ _ Sorrow — such as arises from serious thoughts of eternity.

_ _ laughter — reckless mirth (Ecclesiastes 2:2).

_ _ by the sadness ... better — (Psalms 126:5, Psalms 126:6; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 12:10, Hebrews 12:11). Maurer translates: “In sadness of countenance there is (may be) a good (cheerful) heart.” So Hebrew, for “good,” equivalent to “cheerful” (Ecclesiastes 11:9); but the parallel clause supports English Version.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Ecclesiastes 7:1-6.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
or, Anger

is better:

Psalms 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Psalms 119:71 [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
Psalms 126:5-6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. ... He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him].
Jeremiah 31:8-9 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, [and] with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. ... They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim [is] my firstborn.
Jeremiah 31:15-20 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, [and] bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they [were] not. ... [Is] Ephraim my dear son? [is he] a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 50:4-5 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. ... They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, [saying], Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant [that] shall not be forgotten.
Daniel 9:3-19 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: ... O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
Daniel 10:2-3 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. ... I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
Daniel 10:19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace [be] unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
Zechariah 12:10-14 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn. ... All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
Luke 6:21 Blessed [are ye] that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed [are ye] that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Luke 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
John 16:20-22 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. ... And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
2 Corinthians 7:9-11 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. ... For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, [what] clearing of yourselves, yea, [what] indignation, yea, [what] fear, yea, [what] vehement desire, yea, [what] zeal, yea, [what] revenge! In all [things] ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
James 4:8-10 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. ... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.


Romans 5:3-4 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; ... And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;
Hebrews 12:10-11 For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness. ... Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; ... But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ps 119:67, 71; 126:5. Jr 31:8, 15; 50:4. Dn 9:3; 10:2, 19. Zc 12:10. Lk 6:21, 25. Jn 16:20. Ro 5:3. 2Co 4:17; 7:9. He 12:10. Jm 1:2; 4:8.

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