1. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Summary of Ecclesiastes 4:12

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (ESV)

12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

The last example of the difficulty of being alone is about people being able to help each other when they are being attacked. You should especially think here of the danger of robbers when people travelled along lonely roads in ancient times. The last part of this verse shows that it is often better to have even more than two: “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

A cord consisting of more than two strands of rope is stronger. When you do something with someone else, you are stronger. God’s intention is that people do not isolate themselves but will live together. People should form a community. The Lord is also seeking a people who will serve him. Christ suffered for this. No one on earth was more alone than our Lord Jesus Christ. He had to suffer being forsaken by God while he had sought the best for people. He was rich in heaven, yet became poor for sinful people: in order to save sinners; cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9.

He who experienced God’s crushing wrath and who had to suffer alone, received as a reward from the Lord, among other things: He shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days, Isaiah 53:10. This means that from Christ’s work will emerge a people who love one another. A people who help each other as a true community. The fruit of Christ's work on earth is a community of people who believe in him and form his church, to serve and help each other and show the love of Christ to others in the community.