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Ecclesiastes 4:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For this a man is envied - It is not by injustice and wrong only that men suffer, but through envy also. For if a man act uprightly and properly in the world, he soon becomes the object of his neighbor's envy and calumny too. Therefore the encouragement to do good, to act an upright part, is very little. This constitutes a part of the vain and empty system of human life.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Every right work - Rather, every success in work.

For this … - i. e., “This successful work makes the worker an object of envy.” Some understand the meaning to be, “this work is the effect of the rivalry of man with his neighbor.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Solomon notices the sources of trouble peculiar to well-doers, and includes all who labour with diligence, and whose efforts are crowned with success. They often become great and prosperous, but this excites envy and opposition. Others, seeing the vexations of an active course, foolishly expect more satisfaction in sloth and idleness. But idleness is a sin that is its own punishment. Let us by honest industry lay hold on the handful, that we may not want necessaries, but not grasp at both hands full, which would only create vexation of spirit. Moderate pains and gains do best.
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