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Ecclesiastes 7:20 meaning...

This verse from the book of Ecclesiastes presents a sobering observation about the human condition—no one is exempt from sin. It's a recognition of the universal reality that, despite our best intentions and actions, every person falls short of absolute righteousness.

  • Understanding the Context:

Ecclesiastes, often attributed to King Solomon, is a book that reflects on the meaning and purpose of life. In Chapter 7, the author explores various aspects of human existence, offering wisdom and reflections on the complexities of life.

  • The Universality of Sin:

"Surely there is not a righteous man on earth..."

This statement is a sweeping assessment of the moral state of humanity. It declares that, in the earthly realm, no person can claim absolute righteousness. It's an acknowledgment of the inherent fallen nature of humanity.

"...who does good and doesn’t sin."

The second part of the verse emphasizes the inevitability of human fallibility. Even in the pursuit of good deeds, no one is exempt from sin. It recognizes the dual nature of human behavior—a mixture of good and fallenness.

Biblical and Theological Significance:

  • The Universality of Sin in Scripture:

This verse aligns with the broader biblical teaching on the universality of sin. Various passages, including Romans 3:23, affirm that all have sinned and fall short of God's glory. Ecclesiastes echoes this truth within its unique context.

  • Humility and Self-Reflection:

Recognizing the impossibility of perfect righteousness invites humility. It encourages individuals to engage in self-reflection, acknowledging their need for grace and redemption.

Application to Our Lives:

  • Humility in Our Walk:

Understanding that there is not a righteous person who doesn't sin fosters humility in our journey. It encourages an awareness of our need for God's grace and mercy.

  • Embracing God's Forgiveness:

Rather than fostering a sense of hopelessness, this acknowledgment prompts us to embrace God's forgiveness. It directs us to rely on the redemptive work of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

  • Empathy Towards Others:

Recognizing our own struggles with sin should lead to empathy toward others. It discourages a judgmental attitude and encourages a compassionate understanding of the shared human experience of imperfection.


Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." This New Testament verse echoes the sentiment of Ecclesiastes, emphasizing the universal reality of sin.

1 John 1:8: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." The apostle John reiterates the concept that denying our sinfulness is self-deception.

Conclusion - A Realistic View of Human Nature: Ecclesiastes 7:20 offers a realistic view of human nature, highlighting the universal reality of sin. It calls us to humility, reliance on God's grace, and a compassionate understanding of our shared struggle with imperfection. In this acknowledgment, there is an invitation to embrace the redemptive work of Christ and walk in the light of His forgiveness.

Ecclesiastes 7:20. Surely there is not a righteous man on earth, who does good and doesn’t sin.


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