Ecclesiastes 3:1 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Bible Comments

To every thing, &c. Solomon having mentioned God's overruling providence in the latter end of the foregoing chapter, proceeds in this to illustrate the imperfection of human wisdom, which is confined to a certain season for all things that it would effect, which if we neglect, or let slip, all our contrivances signify nothing. He then shows that the utmost perfection at which our wisdom can arrive in this world, consists, 1st, In being contented with this order in which God hath placed all things, and not disquieting ourselves about that which it is not in our power to alter. 2d, In observing and taking the fittest opportunity of doing every thing, as the most certain means to tranquillity. 3d, In taking the comfort of what we have at present, and making a seasonable and legitimate use of it; and, lastly, in bearing the vicissitudes which we find in all human things with an equal mind; because they are ordered by a powerful, wise, and gracious Providence. These were the things he had suggested in the conclusion of the former chapter, and this may be considered as having a relation to every one of them. See Bishop Patrick. There is a season A certain time appointed by God for its being and continuance, which no human wisdom or providence can alter. And by virtue of this appointment of God, all vicissitudes which happen in the world, whether comforts or calamities, come to pass; which is here added to prove the principal proposition, that all things below are vain, and happiness is not to be found in them, because of their great uncertainty, and mutability, and transitoriness, and because they are so much out of the reach and power of men, and wholly in the disposal of God. And a time to every purpose Not only things natural, but even the voluntary actions of men, are ordered and disposed by God. But it must be considered, that he does not here speak of a time allowed by God, wherein all the following things may lawfully be done, but only of a time fixed by God, in which they are actually done.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: