Chapter 6

In this chapter, I. The royal preacher goes on further to show the vanity of worldly wealth, when men place their happiness in it and are eager and inordinate in laying it up. Riches, in the hands of a man that is wise and generous, and good for something, but in the hands of a sordid, sneaking, covetous miser, they are good for nothing. 1. He takes an account of the possessions and enjoyments which such a man may have. He has wealth (Eccl. 6:2), he has children to inherit it (Eccl. 6:3), and lives long, Eccl. 6:3, 6. 2. He describes his folly in not taking the comfort of it; he has no power to eat of it, lets strangers devour it, is never filled with good, and at last has no burial, Eccl. 6:2, 3. 3. He condemns it as an evil, a common evil, vanity, and a disease, Eccl. 6:1, 2. 4. He prefers the condition of a still-born child before the condition of such a one, Eccl. 6:3. The still-born child’s infelicity is only negative (Eccl. 6:4, 5), but that of the covetous worldling is positive; he lives a great while to see himself miserable, Eccl. 6:6. 5. He shows the vanity of riches as pertaining only to the body, and giving no satisfaction to the mind (Eccl. 6:7, 8), and of those boundless desires with which covetous people vex themselves (Eccl. 6:9), which, if they be gratified ever so fully, leave a man but a man still, Eccl. 6:10. II. He concludes this discourse of the vanity of the creature with this plain inference from the whole, That it is folly to think of making up a happiness for ourselves in the things of this world, Eccl. 6:11, 12. Our satisfaction must be in another life, not in this.