3:1 To every [thing there is] a a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
(a) He speaks of this diversity of time for two
causes first to declare that there is nothing in this world perpetual: next to
teach us not to be grieved, if we have not all things at once according to our
desires, neither enjoy them so long as we would wish.
I have seen the labour, which God hath given to the sons of men b
to be exercised in it.
(b) Read (Ecclesiastes
3:11 He hath made every [thing] beautiful in its
time: also he hath set the c world in
their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the
beginning to the end.
(c) God has given man a desire and affection to
seek out the things of this world, and to labour in it.
3:13 And also that every man
should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it [is] the d
gift of God.
(d) Read (Ecclesiastes
2:24) and these places declare that we should do all things with sobriety
and in the fear of God, as he gives not his gifts to the intent that they
should be abused.
3:14 I know that, whatever God doeth, it shall be
for e ever: nothing can be added to it,
nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth [it], that [men] should fear before
(e) That is, man will never be able to prevent
God's work, but as he has determined so it will come to pass.
3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is
to be hath already been; and God f
requireth that which is past.
(f) God only causes what which is past, to
3:17 I said in my heart, God
shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for [there is] a time g
there for every purpose and for every work.
(g) Meaning, with God, however man neglects his
3:18 I said in my heart concerning the state of the
sons of men, that God might h tempt
them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
(h) And made them pure in their first creation.
3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men
befalleth beasts; even one thing i
befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one
breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all [is] vanity.
(i) Man is not able by his reason and judgment to
put differences between man and beast, as concerning those things to which
both are subject: for the eye cannot judge any otherwise of a man being dead
than of a beast, which is dead: yet by the word of God and faith we easily
know the diversity as in (Ecclesiastes
3:21 Who k
knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that
goeth downward to the earth?
(k) Meaning, that reason cannot comprehend that
which faith believes in.
3:22 Wherefore I perceive that [there is] nothing
better, than that a man should l rejoice
in his own works; for that [is] his portion: for who shall bring him to see what
shall be after him?
(l) By the often repetition of this sentence as
2:24,3:12,22,5:17,8:15) he declares that man by reason can comprehend
nothing better in this life than to use the gifts of God soberly and
comfortably: for to know further, is a special gift of God revealed by his