Ecclesiastes 9:5-10


Every so often, when reading through the Bible, you find a very interesting verse. As was the case when I came across this one. Christians often accuse atheists of thinking that life is meaningless, but their own Holy Book says it is!

5. “For the living know that they will die,
but the dead know nothing;
they have no further reward,
and even their name is forgotten.
6  Their love, their hate
and their jealousy have long since vanished;
never again will they have a part
in anything that happens under the sun.
7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.
8 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.
9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”

Of course, this is in the middle of the OT, and the concept of an afterlife wasn’t even in the Bible, but it makes you wonder why God would tell people that life is meaningless (even if he didn’t personally say it, he said it through the writers) if it isn’t. The verses also say that the dead know nothing, suggesting again that an afterlife didn’t exist.

Some people theorize that Heaven was only achievable when Jesus died for everyone’s sins, so the people that died in the OT, and throughout human history, went somewhere else. But it seems stupid for God to only send Jesus down tens of thousands of years after humans began existing. Even from a creationist worldview he certainly took his time, somewhat necessarily.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at


3 thoughts on “Ecclesiastes 9:5-10

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