4:1 So a I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of [such as were] oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors [there was] power; but they had no comforter.
(a) He makes here another discourse with himself
concerning the tyranny of them that oppressed the poor.
4:2 Wherefore I praised the b
dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.
(b) Because they are no longer subject to these
4:3 Yea, c
better [is he] than both they, who hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil
work that is done under the sun.
(c) He speaks according to the judgment of the
flesh which cannot abide to feel or see troubles.
4:4 Again, I considered all labour, and every d
right work, that for this a man is envied by his neighbour. This [is] also
vanity and vexation of spirit.
(d) The more perfect that the work is, the more
it is envied by the wicked.
4:5 The fool foldeth his hands together, and e
eateth his own flesh.
(e) For idleness he is compelled to destroy
f Two [are] better than one; because
they have a good reward for their labour.
(f) As when man is alone, he can neither help
himself nor others, he shows that men should live in mutual society to the
intent that they may be profitable one to another, and that their things may
if one prevaileth against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold g
cord is not quickly broken.
(g) By this proverb he declares how necessary it
is, that men should live in society.
4:14 For out of h
prison he cometh to reign; though also [he that is] i
born in his kingdom becometh poor.
(h) That is, from a poor and base estate or out
of trouble and prison as Joseph did, (Genesis
(i) Meaning, that is born a king.
4:15 I considered all the living who walk under the
sun, k with the second child that shall
stand up in his stead.
(k) Who follow and flatter the king's son, or
him that will succeed to enter into credit with them in hope of gain.
4:16 [There is] no l
end of all the people, [even] of all that have been before them: they also that
come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also [is] vanity and vexation
(l) They never cease by all means to creep into
favour, but when they do not obtain their greedy desires they think themselves
abused, as others have been in times past, and so care no more for him.