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Ecclesiastes 3:1

    Ecclesiastes 3:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For everything there is a fixed time, and a time for every business under the sun.

    Webster's Revision

    For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:

    World English Bible

    For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    Clarke's Commentary on Ecclesiastes 3:1

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose - Two general remarks may be made on the first eight verses of this chapter.

    1. God by his providence governs the world, and has determined particular things and operations to particular times. In those times such things may be done with propriety and success; but if we neglect the appointed seasons, we sin against this providence, and become the authors of our own distresses.

    2. God has given to man that portion of duration called Time; the space in which all the operations of nature, of animals, and intellectual beings, are carried on; but while nature is steady in its course, and animals faithful to their instincts, man devotes it to a great variety of purposes; but very frequently to that for which God never made time, space, or opportunity. And all we can say, when an evil deed is done, is, there was a time in which it was done, though God never made it for that purpose.

    To say any farther on this subject is needless, as the words themselves give in general their own meaning. The Jews, it is true, see in these times and seasons all the events of their own nation, from the birth of Abraham to the present times; and as to fathers and their followers, they see all the events and states of the Christian Church in them!

    It is worthy of remark, that in all this list there are but two things which may be said to be done generally by the disposal of God, and in which men can have but little influence: the time of birth, and the time of death. But all the others are left to the option of man, though God continues to overrule them by his providence. The following paraphrase will explain all that is necessary to be generally understood: -

    Barnes' Notes on Ecclesiastes 3:1

    Everything - More particularly, the actions of people (e. g. his own, Ecclesiastes 2:1-8) and events which happen to people, the world of Providence rather than the world of creation. It would seem that most of his own works described in Ecclesiastes 2:1-8 were present to his mind. The rare word translated "season" means emphatically "fitting time" (compare Nehemiah 2:6; Esther 9:27, Esther 9:31).

    Wesley's Notes on Ecclesiastes 3:1

    3:1 A season - A certain time appointed by God for its being and continuance, which no human wit or providence can alter. And by virtue of this appointment of God, all vicissitudes which happen in the world, whether comforts or calamities, come to pass. Which is here added to prove the principal proposition, That all things below are vain, and happiness is not to be found in them, because of their great uncertainty, and mutability, and transitoriness, and because they are so much out of the reach and power of men, and wholly in the disposal of God. Purpose - Not only natural, but even the voluntary actions of men, are ordered and disposed by God. But it must be considered, that he does not here speak of a time allowed by God, wherein all the following things may lawfully be done, but only of a time fixed by God, in which they are actually done.