Why did the Teacher mention the value of companionship? (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12)

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 King James Version (KJV)
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 - 12

ESV - 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

Clarify Share Report Asked September 27 2019 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the passage cited in the question is mentioned at that point as a contrast to the comparatively worse state (that is, the futility or vanity, which is the main theme of the book) of the solitary man mentioned in the immediately preceding verses (Ecclesiastes 4:7-8) who has no one (either in the same generation or in succeeding generations) who can benefit from his efforts, and who yet labors ceaselessly to amass wealth for himself.

Instead, it is far preferable to have or cultivate relationships with other humans who can mutually benefit from the work of each by using the proceeds from that work to assist each other in times of personal need (represented by the mention of the lack of warmth), or external difficulty (represented by the mentions of falling, and of physical opposition).

September 27 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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