What does it mean, "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten"?


Ecclesiastes 9:5

ESV - 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.

Clarify Share Report Asked August 18 2023 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The views expressed by the author of Ecclesiastes (commonly regarded as Solomon) are those of someone "under the sun" -- that is, from a naturalistic perspective without knowledge of spiritual matters, including God and His workings. From that standpoint, death does indeed appear to be the end of all things, with no subsequent existence or knowledge.

However, the falsity of this statement is amply rebutted by the rest of Scripture. Even Solomon himself, by the end of Ecclesiastes, has come around to the conclusive truth that fearing God and obeying His commandments comprise "the whole duty of man".

August 18 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Aurel Gheorghe
King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, wrote the book of Ecclesiastes late in his life. The book is a reflection on his life and what he learned. 

And one of the things Solomon learned (as well as other Bible writers) is that the dead know nothing, the dead don’t think, they don’t praise the Lord, and they lack consciousness. They are placed in the grave and become dust. Their plans perish and they cease to exist - the dead have no advantage over the beasts - this is what the Bible is saying about death (Eccl 3:19-20, Ps 6:5; 115:17; Job 3:11-13; 14:12). 

The Bible describes the first death as sleep (Ps 13:3; 1 Kings 2:10; John 11:11-14; Matt 9:24). This simply means we are not aware of the passage of time after death – we are not aware of what’s happening in the world. Just like a good uninterrupted night's sleep - we fall asleep and wake up six, seven, or eight hours later unaware of what happened around us all this time. 

Paul tells that, "All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness," (Tim 3:16) which means that we can trust what we read in the Bible.

August 20 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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