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Ecclesiastes 2:26

    Ecclesiastes 2:26 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For to the man that pleaseth him God giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    To the man with whom he is pleased, God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of getting goods together and storing up wealth, to give to him in whom God has pleasure. This again is to no purpose and desire for wind.

    Webster's Revision

    For to the man that pleaseth him God giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

    World English Bible

    For to the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For to the man that pleaseth him God giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

    Clarke's Commentary on Ecclesiastes 2:26

    For who can eat - more than I? - But instead of חוץ ממני chuts mimmenni, more than I; חוץ ממנו chuts mimmennu, without Him, is the reading of eight of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., as also of the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic.

    "For who maye eat, drynke, or bring enythinge to pass without him?"

    - Coverdale.

    I believe this to be the true reading. No one can have a true relish of the comforts of life without the Divine blessing. This reading connects all the sentences: "This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God; - for who can eat, and who can relish without Him? For God giveth to man that is good." It is through his liberality that we have any thing to eat or drink; and it is only through his blessing that we can derive good from the use of what we possess.

    Giveth - wisdom, and knowledge, and joy -

    1. God gives wisdom - the knowledge of himself, light to direct in the way of salvation.

    2. Knowledge - understanding to discern the operation of his hand; experimental acquaintance with himself, in the dispensing of his grace and the gifts of his Spirit.

    3. Joy; a hundred days of ease for one day of pain; one thousand enjoyments for one privation; and to them that believe, peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    But to the sinner he giveth travail - He has a life of labor, disappointment, and distress; for because he is an enemy to God, he travails in pain all his days; and, as the wise man says elsewhere, the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just. So he loseth earthly good, because he would not take a heavenly portion with it.

    Barnes' Notes on Ecclesiastes 2:26

    The doctrine of retribution, or, the revealed fact that God is the moral Governor of the world, is here stated for the first time (compare Ecclesiastes 3:15, Ecclesiastes 3:17 ff) in this book.

    This also is vanity - Not only the travail of the sinner. Even the best gifts of God, wisdom, knowledge, and joy, so far as they are given in this life, are not permanent, and are not always (see Ecclesiastes 9:11) efficacious for the purpose for which they appear to be given.

    Wesley's Notes on Ecclesiastes 2:26

    2:26 Wisdom - To direct him how to use his comforts aright; that so they may be blessings, and not curses to him. Joy - A thankful contented mind. To heap up - He giveth him up to insatiable desires, and wearisome labours, that he may leave it to others, yea to such as he least desired, to good and virtuous men.