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Ecclesiastes 1:13

    Ecclesiastes 1:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail has God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven: it is a sore travail that God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And I gave my heart to searching out in wisdom all things which are done under heaven: it is a hard thing which God has put on the sons of men to do.

    Webster's Revision

    And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven: it is a sore travail that God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith.

    World English Bible

    I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the sky. It is a heavy burden that God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven: it is a sore travail that God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith.

    Clarke's Commentary on Ecclesiastes 1:13

    And I gave my heart to seek and search - While Solomon was faithful to his God he diligently cultivated his mind. His giving himself to the study of natural history, philosophy, poetry, etc., are sufficient proofs of it. He had not intuitive knowledge from God; but he had a capacity to obtain every kind of knowledge useful to man.

    This sore travail - This is the way in which knowledge is to be acquired; and in order to investigate the operations of nature, the most laborious discussions and perplexing experiments must be instituted, and conducted to their proper results. It is God's determination that knowledge shall be acquired in no other way.

    Barnes' Notes on Ecclesiastes 1:13

    Wisdom - As including both the powers of observation and judgment, and the knowledge acquired thereby (1 Kings 3:28; 1 Kings 4:29; 1 Kings 10:8, ...). It increases by exercise. Here is noted its application to people and their actions.

    Travail - In the sense of toil; the word is here applied to all human occupations.

    God - God is named as אלהים 'elohı̂ym thirty-nine times in this book; a name common to the true God and to false gods, and used by believers and by idolators: but the name Yahweh, by which He is known especially to the people who are in covenant with Him, is never once used.

    Perhaps the chief reason for this is that the evil which is the object of inquiry in this book is not at all unique to the chosen people. All creation Romans 8 groans under it. The Preacher does not write of (or, to) the Hebrew race exclusively. There is no express and obvious reference to their national expectations, the events of their national history, or even to the divine oracles which were deposited with them. Hence, it was natural for the wisest and largest-hearted man of his race to take a wider range of observation than any other Hebrew writer before or after him. It became the sovereign of many peoples whose religions diverged more or less remotely from the true religion, to address himself to a more extensive sphere than that which was occupied by the twelve tribes, and to adapt his language accordingly. See the Ecclesiastes 5:1 note.

    Wesley's Notes on Ecclesiastes 1:13

    1:13 I gave my heart - Which phrase denotes his serious and fixed purpose, and his great industry in it. To search - To seek diligently and accurately. By wisdom - By the help of that wisdom wherewith God had endowed me. Concerning - Concerning all the works of God and men in this lower world; the works of nature; the works of Divine providence; and the works and depths of human policy. This travel - This difficult and toilsome work of searching out these things, God hath inflicted as a just punishment upon man for his eating of the tree of knowledge. To be exercised - To employ themselves in the painful study of these things.