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Ecclesiastes 7:29

    Ecclesiastes 7:29 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    See, this only have I found, that God has made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    This only have I seen, that God made men upright, but they have been searching out all sorts of inventions.

    Webster's Revision

    Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    World English Bible

    Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they search for many schemes."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Behold, this only have I found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    Clarke's Commentary on Ecclesiastes 7:29

    Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright - Whatever evil may be now found among men and women, it is not of God; for God made them all upright. This is a singular verse, and has been most variously translated:

    עשה האלהים את האדם ישר והמה בקשו חשבנות רבים asah haelohim eth haadam yashar vehemhah bikkeshu chishbonoth rabbim.

    "Elohim has made mankind upright, and they have sought many computations."

    "He hath meddled with endless questions." - Vulgate.

    "Many reasonings." - Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic.

    "They seek dyverse sotylties." Coverdale.

    And he himself mengide with questions without eend. - Old MS. Bible.

    The Targum considers the text as speaking of Adam and Eve.

    "This have I found out, that the Lord made the first man upright before him, and innocent: but the serpent and Eve seduced him to eat of the fruit of the tree, which gave the power to those who ate of it to discern between good and evil; and was the cause that death came upon him, and all the inhabitants of the earth; and they sought that they might find out many stratagems to bring this evil upon all the inhabitants of the world."

    I doubt much whether the word חשבנות chishbonoth should be taken in a bad sense. It may signify the whole of human devices, imaginations, inventions, artifice, with all their products; arts, sciences, schemes, plans, and all that they have found out for the destruction or melioration of life. God has given man wondrous faculties; and of them he has made strange uses, and sovereign abuses: and they have been, in consequence, at one time his help, and at another his bane. This is the fair way of understanding this question.

    Barnes' Notes on Ecclesiastes 7:29

    God hath made - Rather, God made. A definite allusion to the original state of man: in which he was exempt from vanity.