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Ecclesiastes 7:1

    Ecclesiastes 7:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death, than the day of one's birth.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    A good name is better than oil of great price, and the day of death than the day of birth.

    Webster's Revision

    A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death, than the day of one's birth.

    World English Bible

    A good name is better than fine perfume; and the day of death better than the day of one's birth.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    A GOOD name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

    Clarke's Commentary on Ecclesiastes 7:1

    A good name - Unsatisfactory as all sublunary things are, yet still there are some which are of great consequence, and among them a good name. The place is well paraphrased in the following verses:

    "A spotless name,

    By virtuous deeds acquired, is sweeter far

    Than fragant balms, whose odors round diffused

    Regale the invited guests. Well may such men

    Rejoice at death's approach, and bless the hours

    That end their toilsome pilgrimage; assured

    That till the race of life is finish'd none

    Can be completely blest."

    Ecclesiastes 7:1."Beneath a holm repair'd two jolly swains:

    Their sheep and goats together grazed the plains;

    Both young Arcadians, both alike inspired

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on Ecclesiastes 7:1

    Name ... ointment - The likeness between reputation and odor supplies a common metaphor: the contrast is between reputation, as an honorable attainment which only wise people win, and fragrant odor, as a gratification of the senses which all people enjoy.

    The connection of this verse with the preceding verses is this: the man, who wants to know what is profitable for man and good in this life, is here told to act in such a way as ordinarily secures a good reputation (i. e., to act like a wise man), and to teach himself this hard lesson - to regard the day of death as preferable to the day of birth. Though Solomon seems in some places to feel strongly (Ecclesiastes 2:16; Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 ff) that natural fear of death which is, in a great measure, mistrust founded on the ignorance which Christ dispelled; yet he states the advantage of death over life in respect of its freedom from toil, oppression, restlessness Ecclesiastes 2:17; Ecclesiastes 4:2; Ecclesiastes 6:5, and in respect of its implying an immediate and a nearer approach to God Ecclesiastes 3:21; Ecclesiastes 12:7. While Solomon preferred the day of death, he might still (with Luther here) have regarded birth as a good thing, and as having its place in the creation of God.

    Wesley's Notes on Ecclesiastes 7:1

    7:1 Of death - Seeing this life is so full of vanity, and vexation, and misery, it is more desirable for a man to go out of it, than to come into it.

    Verses Related to Ecclesiastes 7:1

    Hebrews 10:34 - For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
    Romans 8:38 - For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
    1 John 3:2 - Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.