In support of my mother and our family

I was sent the following information in response to one of my recent posts.  Good advice, regardless of [non]religious belief:

Ecclesiastes 9:10

New International Version (©1984)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.New Living Translation (©2007)
Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.

English Standard Version (©2001)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Whatever presents itself for you to do, do it with [all] your might, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or skill in the grave where you’re going.

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.

American King James Version
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.

American Standard Version
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, whither thou goest.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly: for neither work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge shall be in hell, whither thou art hastening.

Darby Bible Translation
Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, whither thou goest.

English Revised Version
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Webster’s Bible Translation
Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

World English Bible
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going.

Young’s Literal Translation
All that thy hand findeth to do, with thy power do, for there is no work, and device, and knowledge, and wisdom in Sheol whither thou art going.

Barnes’ Notes on the BibleThe works which we carry on here with the combined energies of body and soul come to an end in the hour of death, when the soul enters a new sphere of existence, and body and soul cease to act together. Compare John 9:4.

Device – See Ecclesiastes 7:25 note.


Clarke’s Commentary on the BibleWhatsoever thy hand findeth to do – Examine here the What the How, and the Why.

I. What is necessary to be done in this life, in reference to another?

1. Turn from sin.

2Repent.

3. Frequent the ordinances of God, and associate with the upright.

4. Read the Scriptures.

5. Pray for pardon.

6. Believe on the Lord Jesus, that thou mayest obtain it.

7. Look for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

8. Bring forth in their seasons the fruits of it –

(1) Repentance,

(2) Faith; and

(3) The Holy Spirit.

continued…


Gill’s Exposition of the Entire BibleWhatsoever thy hand findeth to do,…. Not anything that is evil, which is near at hand, and easy to be found, and is in the power of men’s hands to do, Romans 7:21; for this is forbidden of God, abominable to him, and hurtful to men; but whatsoever is good; so the Targum,

“to do good and alms to the poor;”

even all good works in general, which God requires of men, and it is their duty to do; though they are not meritorious of anything at his hands, nor is there justification or salvation by them; yet should be done in obedience to the will of God, in gratitude to him for mercies received, and for his glory; as also for the profit of men, and for our own good; for the evidence of grace, and to preserve our characters from the insults and reproaches of men. Whatever is found written in the book of God should be done; not what is of a ceremonial kind, and now abolished, but everything of a moral nature, and of positive institution, under Gospel times; as all Gospel ordinances, and whatever falls within a man’s calling: for every man has a work to do; in every station, as magistrates and subjects; in every relation, as husband and wife, parents and children, masters and servants; in every business of life men are called to; which they should attend, for the good of themselves and families, the relief of the poor, and the support of the interest of religion: and in religious things everyone has his work to do; the minister, in preaching and administering ordinances; the deacon, in taking care of the poor; private Christians, in praying in their closets and families, in hearing the word, making a profession of religion, and attending on ordinances; and, as opportunity serves, should do good to all men, especially to the saints, Galatians 6:10; and whatsoever is in the power of their hands, as this phrase signifies, Leviticus 12:8. Aben Ezra refers it to the delights and pleasures of life, such as before mentioned; which may be allowed, when used in a lawful and moderate manner;

do it with thy might; or “strength”; for though men have no might or strength of their own to do good, which is lost by sin; yea, even good men, of themselves, and without Christ, his spirit and grace, can do nothing spiritually good; yet there is strength in him, and to be had from him; and who should be applied to for it, and who gives it, Isaiah 40:29; the phrase denotes intenseness of spirit, vigour of mind, activity and fervency; doing that which is good, cheerfully and diligently, and not in a negligent careless manner; see Deuteronomy 6:5;

for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest; this, and not then, is our working time; good men at death cease from their labours in the grave, as the night in which no man can “work”, Revelation 14:13; then the liberal man can no more “devise” liberal ways and means of doing good; his purposes of doing good are broken off; and no more plans can be laid, or designs formed, for the glory of God and the good of fellow creatures: and no more “knowledge” of objects to do good unto; nor any improvement in any kind of knowledge, natural or spiritual: nor “wisdom” and prudence in the management of affairs, to answer some good ends and purposes; nor opportunity of attaining that wisdom by the Scriptures, and by the ministry of the word, which make men wise unto salvation: and now, since every man is going to the grave, his long home, the place appointed for all living, and this, is the way of all flesh; and every step he has taken, and does take, is a step to the grave; therefore it is incumbent on him to do all the good he can in life.


Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old TestamentThe author, however, recommends no continual dolce far niente, no idle, useless sluggard-life devoted to pleasure, but he gives to his exhortation to joy the converse side: “All that thy hand may reach (i.e., what thou canst accomplish and is possible to thee, 1 Samuel 10:7; Leviticus 12:8) to accomplish it with thy might, that do.” The accentuation is ingenious. If the author meant: That do with all might (Jerome: instanter operare), then he would have said bechol-kohhacha (Genesis 31:6). As the words lie before us, they call on him who is addressed to come not short in his work of any possibility according to the measure of his strength, thus to a work straining his capacity to the uttermost. The reason for the call, 10b, turns back to the clause from which it was inferred: in Hades, whither thou must go (iturus es), there is no work, and reckoning (vid., Ecclesiastes 7:25), and knowledge (דּעתו)

(Note: Not ודעת, because the word has the conjunctive, not the disjunctive accent, vid., under Psalm 55:10. The punctuation, as we have already several times remarked, is not consistent in this; cf. דּעתו, Ecclesiastes 2:26, and וערב, Psalm 65:9, both of which are contrary to the rule (vid., Baer in Abulwald’s Rikma, p. 119, note 2).)

and no wisdom. Practice and theory have then an end. Thus: Enjoy, but not without working, ere the night cometh when no man can work. Thus spake Jesus (John 9:4), but in a different sense indeed from Koheleth. The night which He meant is the termination of this present life, which for Him, as for every man, has its particular work, which is either accomplished within the limits of this life, or is not accomplished at all.


Geneva Study BibleWhatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.


Wesley’s Notes9:10 Whatsoever – Whatever thou hast opportunity and ability to do, do it with unwearied diligence, and vigour and expedition. For – Thou canst neither design nor act any thing there tending to thy own comfort or advantage.


Scofield Reference Notes[1] there is no work

Verse 10 is no more a divine revelation concerning the state of the dead than any other conclusion of “the Preacher” Eccl 1:1 is such a revelation. Reasoning from the standpoint of man “under the sun” the natural man can see no difference between a dead man and a dead lion. Eccl 9:4. A living dog is better than either. No one would quote verse 2 as a divine revelation. These reasonings of man apart from divine revelation are set down by inspiration just as the words of Satan Gen 3:4 Job 2:4,5 are Song set down. But that life and consciousness continue between death and resurrection is directly affirmed in Scripture. Isa 14:9-11 Mt 22:32 Mk 9:43-48 Lk 16:19-31 Jn 11:26 2Cor 5:6-8 Phil 1:21-23 Rev 6:9-11.

Margin grave

Heb. “Sheol,” See Scofield Note: “Hab 2:5”.


Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary10. Whatsoever-namely, in the service of God. This and last verse plainly are the language of Solomon, not of a skeptic, as Holden would explain it.

hand, &c.-(Le 12:8, Margin; 1Sa 10:7, Margin).

thy might-diligence (De 6:5; Jer 48:10, Margin).

no work . in the grave-(Joh 9:4; Re 14:13). “The soul’s play-day is Satan’s work-day; the idler the man the busier the tempter” [South].


Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary9:4-10 The most despicable living man’s state, is preferable to that of the most noble who have died impenitent. Solomon exhorts the wise and pious to cheerful confidence in God, whatever their condition in life. The meanest morsel, coming from their Father’s love, in answer to prayer, will have a peculiar relish. Not that we may set our hearts upon the delights of sense, but what God has given us we may use with wisdom. The joy here described, is the gladness of heart that springs from a sense of the Divine favour. This is the world of service, that to come is the world of recompence. All in their stations, may find some work to do. And above all, sinners have the salvation of their souls to seek after, believers have to prove their faith, adorn the gospel, glorify God, and serve their generation.

 

Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.


Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,


Genesis 37:35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “in mourning will I go down to the grave to my son.” So his father wept for him.


1 Samuel 10:7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.


Job 21:13 They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.


Psalm 6:5 No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?


Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten.


Ecclesiastes 11:6 Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.


Isaiah 38:10 I said, “In the prime of my life must I go through the gates of death and be robbed of the rest of my years?”


Isaiah 38:18 For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.

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