Annotations on the book of Ecclesiastes
Reynolds, Edward, 1599-1676.
Page  121


HAving shewed the vanity of oppression, and injustice in those who are in place of power and judgement, who carry them∣selves like beasts to their brethren, and must themselves die like beasts, un-desired, un-lamented. He sheweth further in this Chapter divers other vanities, which are consequents upon oppression, and misgovern∣ment; both in persons oppressed, whose life is a weariness to them, Verse 1, 2, 3. and in other men; who thereby are subject to be envied for their industry and prospe∣rity, Verse 4. and thereupon some foolish∣ly give over all imployments, Verse 5, 6. Others scrape together what they can get, and live privately alone, out of the eye of the world, and from being observed, Verse 8. and thereupon he returneth to shew the vanity even of the greatest power, when it thus oppresseth the people, Vers. 13, 14. yea, the most regular power, through the mutability of the affections of the people, Verse 15, 16.

Page  122Vers. 1. SO I returned, and considered all the oppressions, &c.] Returned and considered, (i. e.) considered again; the verb is put for the adverb, as is usual in Scripture, in verbs which signifie repeat∣ing, or iterating of an action; as Gen. 25.1. Abraham added and took a wife, (i. e.) took another wife, or married again. Psal. 106.13. They made haste and forgat, (i. e.) They soon forgat: Hos. 9.9. They were profound, and corrupted themselves, (i. e.) They deeply corrupted themselves: So Isa. 64.4. Gen. 26.18. Rom. 10.20. Psal. 6.10. He had considered violence and injustice in the seat of judgement, be∣fore Chap. 3.16. and had shewed the va∣nity of that, and yet notwithstanding that a good man should endeavour to rejoyce in his labours. But when he looks on it again, he finds instead of rejoycing, nothing but the tears of oppressed men, without strength in themselves, without comfort from o∣thers, which must needs render their live very grievous and irksome to them.

all the oppressions] It importeth, either vio∣lent, or fraudulent detaining of mens goods or rights 〈◊〉 them, Jer. 22.3. Luk. 3.14. and 19.8. 1 Thess. 4.6. Jerem. 5.26, 27.

Page  123and behold the tears of such as were op∣pressed] The greatness of this evil is set forth, 1. By the grief of such poor oppres∣sed persons, it squeezed forth tears out of their eyes, Lam. 1.2. 2. By their help∣lesness, they had no comforter: It is some ease of a man in sorrow, to see others pity him, and a great aggravation of misery to be without a comforter, when a mans adver∣saries are so powerfull, so malicious and cruel, that others are affraid, so much as to pity him, Job. 6.14, 15. and 19.21. 3. By their impotency to escape from the hand of their oppressours. So much is im∣plyed in the next words, which way ever we read them, whether so, as to repeat the negative of the former clause with the later, which is usual, Psal. 1.5. Job 30.20, 25. & 31.20. thus, And no power from the hand of their oppressours, namely, to escape from them. They have no power but to weep, none to help themselves. Or else, as we read it, On the side of their oppressors there is power, so much as to keep others from comforting them. So the word hand, is some∣times rendred by the word side, Psal. 140.6. Prov. 8.3. The doubling of that clause, notes the sadness of their condition; as Job calls once and again for pity, Job 19.21.

Page  124V. 2. Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead, &c.] I esteemed the dead more happy. The dead which are already dead; this is emphatical; our mortality, makes us, as it were, dead while we live, much more our lusts, Matth. 8.22. Eph. 2.1. 1 Tim. 5.6. Rev. 3.1. Prov. 9.18. There are dead men that are yet living, and dead men that are already dead. Men are said to be dead likewise that are in any de∣sperate condition, under any invincible ca∣lamity, as Jews in Babylon, Isa. 26.19. Ezek. 37.11, 12, 13. 1 Cor. 15.31. 2 Cor. 1.9, 10. Oppression is, in the Scrip∣ture account, a killing, a devouring of poor men, eating them up, gnawing their bones, Hab. 1.13. Psal. 10.8—10. & 14.4. Zeph. 3.3. Ezek. 22.27. Mic. 3.2. 3. Psal. 8.3, 4, 5. The emphasis then of the place is this, I esteemed those more happy who are already quite dead, then those who do thus continually die, and languish away under the cruelties of their oppressors. This may seem to be spoken after the judgement of the flesh, because grievous miseries and oppressions make men weary of their life, and chuse rather to die. Death is a haven to such a soul after shipwrack, Job. 3.13—16. Jon. 4.3. 1 Reg. 19.4. And indeed life being the greatest of mere outward bles∣sings, Page  125 and that whereunto all the rest are ordered, Matth. 6.25. it can hardly be either rationally or piously undervalued, be∣cause of the evils which crush and lie heavy on it, or the contrary thereunto desired, save only in order to the escaping evils which are worse then death, and to obtaining of good things which are better then life. In which sense the Apostle desired to depart, that he might be with Christ, Phil. 1.23. Therefore he here speaketh according to the judgement of men under oppression, and who lie goaning and sighing amidst many miseries, whose reason is darkned by the weight of their sorrows; for oppression, in this sense, makes even a wise man mad, Chap. 7.7.

more then the living who are yet alive] By the living who are yet alive, he seems to mean those poor men, who languish and pine away under their oppressions, of whom we can say only, as we do of a man ready to die, He is yet alive, his breath is not quite gone, he doth live, and that is all; as Luk. 10.30. He doth not simply prefer death before life; but the ease and quietness of death, before the miseries and sufferings of a dying life, Job. 3.17.18, 19.

V. 3. Yea, better is he then both they, &c.] He speaketh only according to the judgment Page  126 of sense, and with relation to the greatness of outward miseries, which he, who is yet unborn, hath not seen in others, or felt in himself, Job. 3.10. & 10.18, 19.

seen the evil] To see good is to enjoy it, Chap. 2.24. To see evil is to have experi∣ence of it, and to suffer it; in which sense the Serpent told Eve, that her eyes should be opened to know good by the loss, and evil by the danger of it, Gen 3.5. and this kind of not being, or not having been born, though it cannot reasonably or piously be preferred before a sorrowfull life, which will consist with the fear of God, yet it may, before a cursed condition, which sinks a man under the wrath of God, Matth. 26.24.

Here then we may observe, 1. The sad condition of men under the power of oppres∣sors, when they have not so much abate∣ment of their Misery as to be pitied. 2. The cruelty of powerfull oppressors, which de∣terrs others from compassionating those whom they oppress. 3. The dangerous temptation which oppression exposeth men unto, even to be weary of life, as we see in the case of Job, Jonah, Eliah, and others. 4. The inconvenience in cases of difficulty, which relate any way to conscience, to con∣sult with carnal reason, which will easily lead us into extreams.

Page  127V. 4. Again, I considered all travel and every right work] Here he proceedeth to another vanity, arising out of the former of oppression and misgovernment, under which men usually are discouraged from all inge∣nious and usefull undertakings, from all noble enterprizes of any sort, by reason of the envy and danger, which, partly through the jealousies of superiours, partly through the malignancy and evil eye of equals, or infe∣riours, they are by their eminency and in∣dustry exposed unto. By every right work, we are to understand not so much works done in integrity towards God, as the ingenious and accurate works of humane issue, done by the wisdom and practick cunning of Ar∣tificers in any kind; such as the wisdom of Bezaleel, Exod. 31.3, 4. and Hiram, 1 Reg. 7.14.

that for this a man is envied of his neigh∣bour] That the more he deserves for his in∣dustry, and ingeniousness of invention, the more he is exposed to envie and danger; envie being like those moths and cankers which usually feed on the richest garments, as we see in many examples, Gen. 4.5. Numb. 11.27—29. 1 Sam. 18.7, 8. Gen. 26.12—14. & 37.8. 1 Sam. 17.28. Dan. 6.3, 4, &c. And this is a great vanity and disappointment, when that from Page  128 whence a man might have expected credit and thanks from the world, shall procure him hatred and danger, and must needs thereupon be a great disquieting of heart, and discouragement against so fruitless en∣deavours, Prov. 37.4. Psal. 73.12, 13.

V. 5. The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh] This is one fruit of this danger and envie, taken up by fool∣ish and sloathfull men, they refuse to take pains, and rather chuse to be poor then to be envied. Here is the character of an idle person, 1. He is a fool, to make so ab∣surd an inference, that for fear of envie and trouble, will not only neglect duty, but un∣do himself. 2. He foldeth his hands; puts himself into a posture of idleness, composeth himself to do nothing. Labour requireth the stretching forth of the hands, Prov. 31.19. Laziness wraps them up in one another, Prov. 6.9, 10. & 26.14. & 19.24. 3. He eateth his own flesh; bringeth himself to ex∣treme poverty, contracteth weakness in his body, enfeebleth his mind, wasteth his stock, consumeth his family, bringeth the curse of beggary upon himself and his. For as the di∣ligent hand maketh rich, Prov. 13.11. So the slack hand maketh poor, Prov. 10.4. He thinks it a part of wisdom to spare his pains, Page  129 and sit quiet; and because he cannot attain so much dexterity and skill as a other man, therefore enviously to sit down and gnaw his own flesh, either with hunger or indignati∣on, Prov. 26.16. Whereas indeed he is a fool, (i. e.) 1. A wicked man, in neglecting the duty of labour, which he oweth to him∣self, to his family, to his generation, and whereunto by the ordinance of God he is ap∣pointed, Gen. 3.19. Tit. 3.14. 1 Thess. 3.10, 11. 2. An absurd man, to reason him∣self into contempt and beggary, and to be cruel to himself, because he is fretted at o∣ther men, Prov. 11.17. Ps. 27.2. For as he had before touched the vanity which ari∣seth from others, so here that which ariseth from a mans own self.

V. 6. Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with trouble and vex∣ation of spirit] This may be here taken, either as Solmons own words, and then to import a seasonable remedy against the evils here spoken of, viz. envy, idleness, and co∣vetousness, namely, sweet contentment with a competent estate, rather than vexation with a greater, Prov. 15.16, 17. & 17.1. Ps. 37.16. Luk. 12.15. Or rather as the words of the sluggard, and then they are his apology for his laziness: If he strive to excel in his profession, he shall many waies disquiet him∣self, Page  130 he cannot do it without much travel, nor after all that travel be free from much envy & danger. And therefore he rather chuseth a smaller portion, with more ease and content∣ment. In which, there is a great deal of false arguing; 1. It is false, when he calleth his slothful and idle way of living, rest or qui∣etness. For true tranquility of mind is the consequent of a fruitful conversation, Ps. 119.165. bodily rest a fruit of honest labour, Ps. 127.2. Eccl. 5.12.2. It is false, when he cal∣leth industry in a mans course of life, vexa∣tion of spirit, whereas honest labour taketh off the heart from many vain thoughts and desires, which would more sorely vex it. 3. It is a great prophaness to palliate his own sin, under the name of rest and quiet∣ness of spirit, and under the protection of Gods own truth to find an hiding place for his bruitishness and sensuality; as Saul pre∣tended sacrifice to excuse rebellion, 1 Sam. 15.15. 2 Sam. 15.7, 8. Prov. 7.14, 15. Hos. 12.8. 1 Reg. 21.9. 4. It is alike prophaness to give ear to the wisdome of the flesh, against the duties of our calling, and to argue from inconveniences, which we fear to discourage our selves from those labours which God hath promised to bless. God saith to encourage us unto duty, That his light shall shine on our waies, he will comfort and Page  131 bless us in them, and his angel shall keep us in our waies, Ps. 91.11. but the sluggard saith to discourage himself, There is a Lion in the way, Prov. 22.13. as if Lions were more terrible to affright, than Angels to pro∣tect. 5. It is a vain conceit, to think con∣tentment is tied unto a small estate, and vex∣ation to a greater; whereas true content knows as well how to abound, as how to want, Phil. 4.11, 12. and discontent will make men as anxious, as froward, as impa∣tient under a small estate, as craving, hoard∣ing, coveting under a greater, Prov. 30.9. Ps. 59.15. The words of this verse are pro∣verbial, the former part, by the word hand∣ful, expressing a little estate; as Ps. 72.16. Ezek. 13.19. The other, by hands full, a greater and more plentiful, gotten with all the strength and labour of the whole man, Mic. 7.3.

V. 7. vanity under the Sun] Another va∣nity, and quite contrary to the former; as fools when they avoid one extreme, fall into the other.

V. 8. There is one alone, &c.] One, (i. e.) one by himself; as Gen. 19.9. and not a second; that is, either no companion, or member in his family to provide for, or no heir to succeed him in his estate; none for whom he can say, It is this man for whom I labour. See v. 15.

Page  132neither child nor brother] His labour is not founded in any natural love of those for whom he is bound to provide, 1 Tim. 5.8. Gen. 47.12. Prov. 17.17. but meerly on the inordinate love of riches themselves.

This covetous wretch is here described, 1. By his solitariness, he lives all alone, he cannot endure two months in a house.

2. By his excessive labour; there is no end of all his labour: He toyls infinitely, and without measure, Isa. 2.7. Job. 22.5. Some by labour, understand wealth gotten by labour. He hath a vast estate, and yet is as greedy as if he had nothing.

3. By his insatiable desires, neither is his eye satisfied with riches] He hath enough for his back, his belly, his calling, the decen∣cy of his state and condition, but he hath not enough for his eye. Though he can but see it, and have no use of it, yet he is displeased that he sees no more. The eye is the instru∣ment of coveting, 1 Joh. 2.16. Josh. 7.21. Chap. 1.8. & 2.10. A covetous man, though he have as much as his eye can see, yet he would have more still, Isa. 5.8. Hab. 2.5. Prov. 30.15. Job 40.23, 24.

4. By his folly and inconsiderateness, he doth not weigh with himself the absurdity of his so living, he still goes out of himself in labour after riches, but never comes to himself, to Page  133 reason and argue the case, or to call himself to an account of his doings, Jer. 8.6. Luke 15.17. Ps. 4.5.

5. By his Inhumanity and self-cruelty, denying those comforts to himself, which God hath given him, using himself worse than God would have the Oxe used in the Law, Deut. 25.4. Treading out the corn, and yet muzling himself, Chap. 6.2.

6. By the groundlesness of this cruelty, He hath none, while he lives, for whom he doth it, and when de dies, he leaves no heir, kinsman, second to enjoy it, but undergoes all his toyl, and bereaves himself of all com∣fort, for he knows not whom, Ps. 39.6. The censure of all which is, that it is vanity, and a very sore and grievous affliction.

V. 9. Two are better than one] Good more than one: so the comparative useth to be expressed; as Chap. 7.1, 2, 3, 5, 8. Prov. 8.11. Hag. 2.10. upon occasion of the solitary life of this miser, he sheweth the benefit of society, and mutual helpfulness which thereby one man affordeth unto ano∣ther, therefore God made woman for a com∣panion and an helper unto man, Gen. 2.18. and Christ sent forth his Disciples by Two and Two, Mar. 6.7. Luke 10.1. not only that they might be joyful witnesses of the truth which they were to deliver, as Moses Page  134 and Aaron, Joshua and Zorobbabel, in re∣ference unto whom we read of, Two wit∣nesses, Rev. 11.3, 4. and in that respect the Apostle usually joyneth one or two more to himself in the inscription of his Epistles, as joynt witnesses of the truth of the doctrine therein delivered, 1 Cor. 1.1. 2 Cor. 1.1. Phil. 1.1. Coloss. 1.1. 1 Thes. 1.1. But withal, That they might with more ease and success carry on the ministery, wherein they were imployed, and help mutually to streng∣then, to encourage, to comfort one the o∣ther.

because they have a good reward for their labour] Or, a Benefit mutually from each other in their labour, by counsel, by comfort, by assistance and co-operation, by supply of any want, or infirmity which may befall each other, 1 Sam. 23.16, 17. 2 Cor. 8.18, 19, 22. Act. 13.2, 5. Prov. 27.17. Act. 19.29. Phil. 4.3. They do both promote the common good, they do the more easily com∣pass it, they do the more sweetly enjoy it. This mutual benefit is further opened 〈◊〉 some particulars of mutual danger, mutual rest, and mutual defence.

V. 10. If they fall,] That is, if one or either of them fall, the plural is used di∣stributively or partitively to either of the singulars: as, The wicked men they flye, Page  135 Prov. 28.1. i. e. every man. She shall be saved, if they abide, 1 Tim. 2.15. i. e. if any of them abide. Falling, here, may be un∣derstood in all senses, for corporal falls, into a pit, from a horse or the like. Metaphori∣cally, if they fall into diseases, disgraces, dangers. Spiritually, into sins or errors. In any adversities, The society of friends is use∣ful to pity, to restore, to support, to con∣vince, to comfort. Whereas such a solitary worldling as he spake of before, is forsaken of all, and hath none to stand to him. This is sometimes the lot of the godly in trouble, but then God stands by them, Ps. 22.11. 2 Tim. 4.16, 17.

But woe to him that is alone] Woe to him, is in the Original, one word made of two; as is observed out of Kimchi. It is here an interjection of grieving, with a denouncing of some evil which is coming towards a man: It is once more used in this Book, Chap. 10.16. and hardly at all elsewhere in that sense. Woe to him that is alone, or, to him that One, when he falleth, and there is not a second to lift him up.

V. 11. Again, if two lye together, then they have heat, &c.] This also may be understood not only literally, as 1 Reg. 1.1, 2. but me∣taphorically for all kind of mutual assistance, and encouragement in any work which is to Page  136 be done, Heb. 10.24. Luke 24.32.

V. 12. And if one prevail against him] i. e. Some stranger or third person assault, and be too hard for him, that is, for one of the two, then two or three shall stand against that One, and shall be easily able to resist him. See 2 Sam. 10.11. Jer. 41.13, 14. Ps. 127.5. This is another benefit of society and friendship, aid & protection against assaults, whether outward, or spiritual in Temptations from Satan. In all those, and so proportiona∣bly in all other cases, in war, in peace, in danger, in business, day and night, in the mul∣titude of counsellors there is safety, Prov. 11.14. & 14.22. provided that this Soci∣ety be undertaken in the fear of God, and in good and lawful things, otherwise, com∣binations in wickedness are cursed, Ps.64.5, 6, 7. Ps. 83.3—9. Nahum 1.10, 12. Prov. 11.21.

two shall withstand him] Or, stand be∣fore him with confidence and courage to help one another. Standing, is a military posture, Ephes. 6.11, 13, 14. Ps. 94.16. Esther 8.11. Standing before one, as an enemie to destroy him, Rev. 12.4. Hence that expression of looking one another in the face, 2 Chron. 25.17.

a threefold cord, or a triple twisted threed, is not easily broken.] A Proverb setting forth Page  137 the strength and benefit of concord and so∣ciety.

V. 13. Better is a poor and wise child, &c.] From this verse to the end of the Chap∣ter, Solomon proceedeth to set forth the va∣nity of the Highest and most eminent con∣dition amongst men, namely, of Kingly dig∣nity, which he sheweth both in foolish and wilful Princes, who refuse to be counselled, and in all other, be they never so circum∣spect. To manifest the former, he taketh first one of the most contemptible persons one could think on, and compares him with one of the most honourable, a child to an aged man, a poor child to a potent King. Childhood is alone very contemptible, and exposed to neglect and scorn; looked on as rash, heady, unstayed, without judgement or experience, Isa. 3, 4, 5. 1 Reg. 3.7. 1 Cor. 14.20. Eph. 4.14. 2 Chron. 13.7. Hereunto poverty being added, will make such an one much more neglected, Eccles. 9.15. Jam. 2.3, 6. Prov. 14.20. 1 Tim. 5.12. on the other side, old age alone is ve∣nerable, though but in an ordinary person, Lev. 19.32. Isa. 3.2, 3. Gray hairs alone are a Crown, and beauty, Prov. 16.31. how much more honourable, when they are joyn∣ed with a Crown; yet this poor child be∣ing wise, is preferred before that aged King Page  138 being foolish and intractable; as Prov. 19.1. The wisdome of such a child here, is his knowledge of God in his word, whereby a young man is instructed how to order his waies, as that of Timothy, 2 Tim. 3.15. Ps. 119.99, 100. The foolishness of such a Prince is, He knoweth not to be admonish∣ed, He cannot counsel himself, and he will not be counselled by others. So, not to know, doth import a foolish obstinacy and impo∣tency in the mind, a neglect of what is of∣fered unto a man to consider of, Isa. 56.11. & 7.16. contrary to that which is called knowing, or considering in the heart, Deut. 8.5. Prov. 29.7.

Here we see, 1. That wisdome makes the meanest person honourable, maketh the face shine, Chap. 8.1.

2. That the fear of God teacheth chil∣dren wisdome, 2 Tim. 3.15. 1 Sam. 16.18. & 18.5. Ps. 119.98, 100. Dan. 1.20.

3. That intractableness of heart against counsel, is an evidence of folly. Solomon, though the wisest of Princes, yet had a Coun∣sel about him of aged and the most able men, whose counsel Rehoboam rejecting, shew∣ed his weakness, 2 Chron. 10.6. & 13.17.

4 That old age, and power, without a cor∣rective of wisdome, are very likely to render Page  139 men wilful, and opinionative, Job 32.9.

V. 14. For out of prison he cometh to reign] Out of the house of men bound, Judg. 16.21. Gen. 40.3, 7. Isa. 14.17. from the midst of bonds and fetters. He cometh] Namely, the poor and the wise child: For these words are a confirmation of those be∣fore, from the event which hapneth to both, The wisdome of the child advanceth him from a prison to a throne, from chains to a Crown. The obstinacy and folly of the other, hurrieth him from power to poverty; from honour to contempt. Out of prison he cometh to reign i. e. from the lowest and most obscure condition, Job 5.11. Ps. 113.7, 8. Gen. 41.14, 39—44. 2 Sam. 7.8. Dan. 2.25, 48. & 3.26, 30. & 6.3.

whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor] Or, whereas he in his kingdom is born poor, i. e. is made poor. So passing from one condition to another, is a kind of birth: but the other sense is more emphati∣cal, he who from his childhood was a King, and in actual possession of his Throne, be∣cometh poor, Ps. 149.8. Job 12.19, 20, 21. 2 Chron. 33.11. & 36.3, 4, 6. 2 Reg. 25.6, 7. Dan. 4.30—33.

V. 15. I considered all the living, which walk under the Sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead] These two Page  140 verses set forth another vanity attending up∣on Kingly power, not for the fault of the per∣son, but through the inconstant and fickle disposition of the people, who ever have, and ever will be given to changes, worship the rising Sun, and grow weary of him who is likely soonest to leave them.

all the living] That is, all the present ge∣neration of men living under a present Prince or Government. He speaks of the generality of men, and therefore expresseth them under a general notion of living men, Job. 30.23. Dan. 4.17. And withal, to intimate a ground in them of what he here considered, when the father is going away, and the son ready to succeed, they think that they must live and be preserved by the living, and not by the dead, and accordingly wor∣ship him under whom they expect protecti∣on and preservation of life; for, for that end was Government instituted, 1 Tim. 2.2.

which walk under the sun] Elsewhere, which see the sun, Chap. 7.11. another ex∣pression intimating this to be the popular hu∣mour of the generality of men, o the vul∣gar people, who go up and down the streets; as the vulgar are distinguished from the greater and nobler sort, Jer. 5.1, 4, 5. or walking may be joyned with the following words, viz.

Page  141with the second child] I observe that the ge∣nerality of people walk with the second child, joyn themselves unto him, and flatter and crouch to him, forsaking in their affecti∣ons and behaviours the father, because he is about to forsake them.

which shall stand up in his stead] Name∣ly, in the fathers or predecessors stead. By standing up, he meaneth, rising to the Throne, Dan. 11.2. they look on the predecessor as falling, sinking, lying down, stooping to∣wards the grave, and therefore apply them∣selves to his heir. Whereby he noteth as the unhappiness of Princes, who if they live long, live to see their glory dye before them∣selves; so the fickleness of the generality of the people, who do not honour Rulers for their office sake, as they ought to do; and especially should reverence it the more, by how much the more experience they have had of happiness under it, Rom. 13.1—5. 1 Pet. 2.13, 14, 15. but honour them meerly out of interest and self-respect, not consider∣ing so much present duty, as future advan∣tage. There is naturally in the minds of the people a weariness of being long under one Prince, a querulousness and repining at eve∣ry thing which pincheth them, and thereupon a desire to change him for the next, not so much out of choice or assurance that he will Page  142 be better, but out of natural levity and in∣constancy; as sick men change beds, cham∣bers, couches, but carry their disease with them, they love changes for the very change sake, 1 Sam. 8.5, 18, 19, 20. and 12.12, 13. 2 Sam. 15.12. 1 Reg. 2.15. 2 Sam. 20.2. Prov. 14.21.

V. 16. There is no end of all the people, &c.] By all the people, he meaneth the giddy and inconstant multitude, whose levity and dis∣content with their present estate, is the cause that they thus desire continual changes, and reject to day whom yesterday they adored. There is no end of all the people, or to all the people] There are infinite numbers of people in every age and generation who stand thus affected: it is not a contingent or unusual thing, but very common. It is not a vanity which Princes have experience of only some∣times, as in some few persons; but it is the general disease of the vulgar, to stand thus variously affected towards their Princes in all ages. So this phrase, There is no end, is used to express a great or infinite number, Isa. 2.7. supra, vers. 8. Job 22.5. Nahum. 3.3. Again, There is no end to all the people] The people never put an end or a stop to this vanity, but it passeth on, from one generation to another. They which went before did so, so do these now, and so will they do which follow. 3. By Page  143 no end, may be meant no satisfaction to de∣sires, no through and fixed acquiescency of heart in the people towards their Princes, they will still entertain expectations of new men, and new events to satisfie their desires. So the word End, is used for that wherein the heart may acquiesce, and look no further for something else, Prov. 23.18. They do not terminate and fix their affections in one man, be he never so wise or worthy, but grow wea∣ry of him, and joyn themselves unto his Suc∣cessor.

even of all those that have been before them] Namely, before the father and the son, or successor which was second unto him. The word [before] may signifie either in the presence of them, i. e. who have been offi∣cers under them, or done service, and born allegiance to them, 2 Sam. 16.19. 1 Reg. 10.8. or else an antecedence in time unto them. They who were before them, did thus languish in their affections to the fa∣ther, and apply themselves unto the son.

They also that come after shall not rejoice in him] i. e. In the son, unto whom now they seem so zealously, and with so much loyalty to joyn themselves.

not rejoyce] That is, they will be weary of him, troubled with him, wish them∣selves freed from him. The verb negative Page  144 by a 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, seems to import the Affirma∣tive contrary unto it, as is usual in Scripture, Exod. 20.7. Prov. 17.21. Zach. 8.7. Rom. 4.19. This then is Hereditary to all people, There is no End of it, they can never be setled or contented with the present estate, as they before did dislike the father in ex∣pectation of the son, so they after will cast off the son in expectation of the grandchild, and so it will be in all generations.

This is vanity and vexation of spirit] This must needs be matter of indignation & grief to Princes, to see so much falseness and in∣constancy in their people, to see their Ho∣nour grow old & decrepit with their bodies.