Ecclesiastes 1:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

New Living Translation
The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.

English Standard Version
For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

New American Standard Bible
Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

King James Bible
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For with much wisdom is much sorrow; as knowledge increases, grief increases.

International Standard Version
For with much wisdom there is much sorrow; the more someone adds to knowledge, the more someone adds to grief.

NET Bible
For with great wisdom comes great frustration; whoever increases his knowledge merely increases his heartache.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
With a lot of wisdom [comes] a lot of heartache. The greater [your] knowledge, the greater [your] pain.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow.

King James 2000 Bible
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow.

American King James Version
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow.

American Standard Version
For in much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Because In much wisdom there is much indignation: and he that addeth knowledge, addeth also labour.

Darby Bible Translation
For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

English Revised Version
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Webster's Bible Translation
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

World English Bible
For in much wisdom is much grief; and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Young's Literal Translation
for, in abundance of wisdom is abundance of sadness, and he who addeth knowledge addeth pain.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:12-18 Solomon tried all things, and found them vanity. He found his searches after knowledge weariness, not only to the flesh, but to the mind. The more he saw of the works done under the sun, the more he saw their vanity; and the sight often vexed his spirit. He could neither gain that satisfaction to himself, nor do that good to others, which he expected. Even the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom discovered man's wickedness and misery; so that the more he knew, the more he saw cause to lament and mourn. Let us learn to hate and fear sin, the cause of all this vanity and misery; to value Christ; to seek rest in the knowledge, love, and service of the Saviour.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 18. - For in much wisdom is much grief. The more one knows of men's lives, the deeper insight one obtains of their actions and circumstances, the greater is the cause of grief at the incomplete and unsatisfactory nature of all human affairs. He that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow; not in others, but in himself. With added experience and more minute examination, the wise man becomes more conscious of his own ignorance and impotence, of the un-sympathizing and uncontrollable course of nature, of the gigantic evils which he is powerless to remedy; this causes his sorrowful confession (ver. 17b). St. Gregory, taking the religious view of the passage, comments, "The more a man begins to know what he has lost the more he begins to bewail the sentence of his corruption, which he has met with" ('Moral.,' 18:65); and, "He that already knows the high state which he does not as yet enjoy is the more grieved for the low condition in which he is yet held" (ibid., 1:34). The statement in our text is paralleled in Ecclus. 21:12, "There is a wisdom which multiplieth bitterness," and contrasted in Wisd. 8:16 with the comfort and pleasure which true wisdom brings.





Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For in much wisdom is much grief,.... In getting it, and losing it when it is gotten: or "indignation" (t), at himself and others; being more sensible of the follies and weakness of human nature;

and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow: for, the more he knows, the more he would know, and is more eager after it, and puts himself to more pains and trouble to acquire it; and hereby becomes more and more sensible of his own ignorance; and of the difficulty of attaining the knowledge he would come at; and of the insufficiency of it to make him easy and happy: and besides, the more knowledge he has, the more envy it draws upon him from others, who set themselves to oppose him, and detract from his character; in short, this is the sum of all human knowledge and wisdom, attained to in the highest degree; instead of making men comfortable and happy, it is found to be mere vanity, to cause vexation and disquietude of mind, and to promote grief and sorrow. There is indeed wisdom and knowledge opposite to this, and infinitely more excellent, and which, the more it is increased, the more joy and comfort it brings; and this is wisdom in the hidden part; a spiritual and experimental knowledge of Christ, and of God in Christ, and of divine and evangelical truths; but short of this knowledge there is no true peace, comfort, and happiness. The Targum is,

"for a man who multiplies wisdom, when he sins and does not turn by repentance, he multiplies indignation from the Lord; and he who increases knowledge, and dies in his youth, increases grief of heart to those who are near akin to him.''

(t) "multa ira", Pagninus, Montanus; "indignatio", V. L. Tigurine version, Vatablus, Drusius; "multum indignationis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18. wisdom … knowledge—not in general, for wisdom, &c., are most excellent in their place; but speculative knowledge of man's ways (Ec 1:13, 17), which, the farther it goes, gives one the more pain to find how "crooked" and "wanting" they are (Ec 1:15; 12:12).

Ecclesiastes 1:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
With Wisdom Comes Sorrow
17And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind. 18Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 2:23
All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 12:12
Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Treasury of Scripture

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow.

for in

Ecclesiastes 2:15 Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens …

Ecclesiastes 7:16 Be not righteous over much; neither make yourself over wise: why …

Ecclesiastes 12:12,13 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books …

Job 28:28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; …

1 Corinthians 3:18-20 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise …

James 3:13-17 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show …

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