Trinity Fellowship Church | Syracuse, NY

The Structure of Ecclesiastes 4

As you prepare to listen to Sunday’s sermon…

At first glance, Ecclesiastes 4 seems to be a hodge-podge of various types of material. However, upon further consideration, it does break down into five sections: 1-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12, and 13-16. The first two sections end with a “better than” saying (vv. 3, 6). The last two sections begin with a “better than” saying (vv. 9, 13). The middle section does not have a “better than” saying [Hat tip: Choon-Leong Seow’s commentary on Ecclesiastes].

More on the above on Sunday, and below is something that I probably won’t develop on Sunday:

It is fun to observe the playful use of the numbers “one” and “two” in Ecclesiastes 4. In verse 6, one is better than two. In verse 9 ff., two is better than one. A wooden translation of the original text yields, at the beginning of verse 8: “there is one and there is not two;” and, at the end of verse 15: “…with the second youth who is standing….”


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