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

New Living Translation
But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.

English Standard Version
My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

New American Standard Bible
But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.

King James Bible
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But beyond these, my son, be warned: there is no end to the making of many books, and much study wearies the body.

International Standard Version
So learn from them, my son. There is no end to the crafting of many books, and too much study wearies the body.

NET Bible
Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. There is no end to the making of many books, and much study is exhausting to the body.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Be warned, my children, against anything more than these. People never stop writing books. Too much studying will wear out your body.

Jubilee Bible 2000
My son, in addition to this, be admonished: of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

King James 2000 Bible
And further, my son, be admonished by these: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

American King James Version
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

American Standard Version
And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
More than these, my son, require not. Of making many books there is no end: and much study is an affliction of the flesh.

Darby Bible Translation
And besides, my son, be warned by them: of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

English Revised Version
And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Webster's Bible Translation
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

World English Bible
Furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Young's Literal Translation
And further, from these, my son, be warned; the making of many books hath no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:8-14 Solomon repeats his text, VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL IS VANITY. These are the words of one that could speak by dear-bought experience of the vanity of the world, which can do nothing to ease men of the burden of sin. As he considered the worth of souls, he gave good heed to what he spake and wrote; words of truth will always be acceptable words. The truths of God are as goads to such as are dull and draw back, and nails to such as are wandering and draw aside; means to establish the heart, that we may never sit loose to our duty, nor be taken from it. The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom. Teachers and guides all receive their communications from him. The title is applied in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets sought diligently, what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. To write many books was not suited to the shortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer, and to the reader; and then was much more so to both than it is now. All things would be vanity and vexation, except they led to this conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child. The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practical results in the life. Let us attend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts. Why does God record in his word, that ALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 12-14. - The author warns against profitless study, and gives the final conclusion to which the whole discussion leads. Verse 12. - And further, by these, my son, be admonished; rather, and what is more than these, be warned. Besides all that has been said, take this additional and important caution, viz. what follows. The clause, however, has been differently interpreted, as if it said, "Do not attempt to go beyond the words of the sages mentioned above; or, "Be content with my counsels; they will suffice for your instruction." This seems to be the meaning of the Authorized Version. The personal address, "my son," so usual in the Book of Proverbs, is used by Koheleth in this place alone. It does not necessarily imply relationship (as if the pseudo-Solomon was appealing to Rehoboam), but rather the condition of pupil and learner, sitting at the feet of his teacher and friend. Of malting many books there is no end. This could not be said in the time of the historical Solomon, even if we reckon his own voluminous works (1 Kings 4:32, 33); for we know of no other writers of that date, and it is tolerably certain that none existed in Palestine. But we need not suppose that Koheleth is referring to extraneous heathen productions, of which, in our view, there is no evidence that he possessed any special knowledge. Doubtless many thinkers in his time had treated of the problems discussed in his volume in a far different manner from that herein employed, and it seemed good to utter a warning against the unprofitable reading of such productions. Juvenal speaks of the insatiable passion for writing in his day ('Sat.,' 7:51) -

"Tenet insanabile multos
Scribendi cacoethes et aegro in corde senestit;"


which Dryden renders -

"The charms of poetry our souls bewitch;
The curse of writing is an endless itch."
As in taking food it is not the quantity which a man eats, but what he digests and assimilates, that nourishes him, so in reading, the rule, Non multa, sed multum, must be observed; the gorging the literary appetite on food wholesome or not impedes the healthy mental process, and produces no intellectual growth or strength. The obvious lesson drawn by spiritual writers is that Christians should make God's Word their chief study, "turning away from the profane babblings and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called" (1 Timothy 6:20). For as St. Augustine says ('De Doctr. Christ.'), "Whereas in Holy Scripture you will find everything which has been profitably said elsewhere, to a far greater extent you will therein find what has been nowhere else enunciated, but which has been taught solely by the marvelous sublimity and the equally marvelous humility of the Word of God." Much study is a weariness of the flesh. The two clauses in the latter part of the verse are co-ordinate. Thus the Septuagint, Τοῦ ποιῆσαι βιβλία πολλὰ οὐκ ἔστι περασμὸς καὶ μελέτη πολλὴ κόπωσις ("weariness") σαρκός. The word for "study" (lahag) is not found elsewhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, but the above meaning is sustained by its connection with an Arabic word signifying "to be eager for." The Vulgate (like the Septuagint) renders it meditatio. You may weary your brain, exhaust your strength, by protracted study or meditation on many books, but you will not necessarily thereby gain any insight into the problems of the universe or guidance for daily life. Marcus Aurelius dissuades from much reading: "Would you examine your whole composition?" he says; "pray, then let your library alone; what need you puzzle your thoughts and over-grasp yourself?" Again, "As for books, never be over-eager about them; such a fondness for reading will be apt to perplex your mind, and make you die unpleased" ('Medit.,' 2:2, 3, Collier). So Ben-Sira affirms, "The finding out of parables is a wearisome Labor of the mind" (Ecclus. 13:26).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And further, by these, my son, be admonished,.... Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, may be intended, for whose sake, more especially, this book might be written; though it may take in every hearer of this divine preacher, every disciple of this teacher, every subject of his kingdom, as well as every reader of this book, whom he thus addresses, and for whom he was affectionately concerned as a father for a son; that they might be enlightened with divine knowledge, warned of that which is evil, and admonished and advised to that which is good; "by these" words and writings of his own, and other wise men; and by these masters of assemblies, who, and their words, are from the one and chief Shepherd; to these they would do well to take heed, and to these only or chiefly. It may be rendered, "and what is the more excellent of these, he admonished" (k); to observe what is mentioned in Ecclesiastes 12:13, and lies in a few words, "Fear God", &c. and especially Jesus Christ, the "Alpha" and "Omega", the sum and substance of the whole Bible; of what had been written in Solomon's time, and has been since: he is the most excellent part of it; or that which concerns him, in his person, offices, and grace: or thus; "and what is above", or "more than these, beware of" (l); do not trouble thyself with any other writings; these are sufficient, all that is useful and valuable is to be found in them; and as for others, if read, read them with care and caution, and only as serving to explain these, and to promote the same ends and designs, or otherwise to be rejected;

of making many books there is no end; many books, it seems, were written in Solomon's time; there was the same itch of writing as now, it may be; but what was written was not to be mentioned with the sacred writings, were comparatively useless and worthless. Or the sense is, should Solomon, or any other, write ever so many volumes, it would be quite needless; and there would be no end of writing, for these would not give satisfaction and contentment; and which yet was to be had in the word of God; and therefore that should be closely attended to: though this may be understood, not only of making or composing books, but of getting them, as Aben Ezra; of purchasing them, and so making them a man's own. A man may lay out his money, and fill his library with books, and be very little the better for them; what one writer affirms, another denies; what one seems to have proved clearly, another rises up and points out his errors and mistakes; and this occasions replies and rejoinders, so that there is no end of these things, and scarce any profit by them; which, without so much trouble, may be found in the writings of wise men, inspired by God, and in which we should rest contented;

and much study is a weariness of the flesh; the study of languages, and of each of the arts and sciences, and of various subjects in philosophy and divinity, particularly in writing books on any of these subjects; which study is as fatiguing to the body, and brings as much weariness on it, as any manual and mechanic operation; it dries up the moisture of the body, consumes the spirits, and gradually and insensibly impairs health, and brings on weakness, as well as weariness. Some render it, "much reading", as Jarchi, and so Mr. Broughton; and Aben Ezra observes, that the word in the Arabic language so signifies: the Arabic word "lahag" signifies to desire anything greedily, or to be greedily given and addicted to anything (m); and so may denote such kind of reading here, or such a person who is "helluo", a glutton at books, as Cato is said to be. And now reading books with such eagerness, and with constancy, is very wearisome, and is to little advantage; whereas reading the Scripture cheers and refreshes the mind, and is profitable and edifying. Gussetius (n) interprets it of much speaking, long orations, which make weary.

(k) "potius inquam ex istis", Junius & Tremellius; "quod potissimum ex istis", Gejerus. (l) "Et amplius his, fili mi, cave", Mercerus. (m) Vid. Castell. Lexic. col. 1874. who gives an instance of the use of this word in, the following sentence; "he that reads with mouth, but his heart is not with it"; and so Kimchi, in Sepher Shotash, fol. 74. fol. 2. explains the word here, "learning without understanding". (n) Ebr. Comment. p. 431.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. (See on [671]Ec 1:18).

many books—of mere human composition, opposed to "by these"; these inspired writings are the only sure source of "admonition."

(over much) study—in mere human books, wearies the body, without solidly profiting the soul.

Ecclesiastes 12:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Fear of God is Utmost
11The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. 13The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.…
Cross References
1 Kings 4:32
He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.

Ecclesiastes 1:18
For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.
Treasury of Scripture

And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

by these

Luke 16:29-31 Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them…

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: …

John 20:31 But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, …

John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, …

2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well …

study

Ecclesiastes 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge …

Jump to Previous
Addition Admonished Beware Body Books Devotion End Endless Excessive Flesh Further Furthermore Learning Making Note Study Warned Wearies Weariness Wearying Writing
Jump to Next
Addition Admonished Beware Body Books Devotion End Endless Excessive Flesh Further Furthermore Learning Making Note Study Warned Wearies Weariness Wearying Writing
Links
Ecclesiastes 12:12 NIV
Ecclesiastes 12:12 NLT
Ecclesiastes 12:12 ESV
Ecclesiastes 12:12 NASB
Ecclesiastes 12:12 KJV

Ecclesiastes 12:12 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 12:12 Bible Suite
Ecclesiastes 12:12 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 12:12 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 12:12 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 12:12 German Bible

Alphabetical: addition and anything Be beyond body books But devotion end endless excessive in is making many much my no of son study the them there this to warned wearies wearying writing

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 12:12 Furthermore my son be admonished: of making (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Ecclesiastes 12:11
Top of Page
Top of Page