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Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Life Together

Summary

To live and work alone is another example of "vanity" or meaninglessness. Living and working together, however, will bring great reward.

Analysis

Chapter 4 of Ecclesiastes begins with a deep lament: The poor and homeless have "no one to comfort them" (4:1). They are alone, with no one to provide help or support in times of trouble. Here the Teacher picks up the other side of the same theme, now speaking of the positive benefits of a life lived in connection with others. The comments here are down-to-earth and practical. Finally, in a world where muggings and robberies must have been as familiar as in our own time, life together with a partner is a life that is much less subject to danger (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

The Value of a Friend

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. 11Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? 12And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

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