Ecclesiastes 12:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Everything is meaningless!"

New Living Translation
"Everything is meaningless," says the Teacher, "completely meaningless."

English Standard Version
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.

New American Standard Bible
"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "all is vanity!"

King James Bible
Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Absolute futility," says the Teacher. "Everything is futile."

International Standard Version
"Utterly pointless," says the Teacher. "Everything is pointless."

NET Bible
"Absolutely futile!" laments the Teacher, "All of these things are futile!"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Absolutely pointless!" says the spokesman. "Everything is pointless!"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

King James 2000 Bible
Vanity of vanities, says the preacher; all is vanity.

American King James Version
Vanity of vanities, said the preacher; all is vanity.

American Standard Version
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, and all things are vanity.

Darby Bible Translation
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher: all is vanity.

English Revised Version
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity.

Webster's Bible Translation
Vanity of vanities saith the preacher; all is vanity.

World English Bible
"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher. "All is vanity!"

Young's Literal Translation
Vanity of vanities, said the preacher, the whole is vanity.
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

Verse 8. - It has been much questioned whether this verse is the conclusion of the treatise or the commencement of the epilogue. For the latter conclusion it is contended that it is only natural that the beginning of the final summing-up should start with the same words as the opening of the book (Ecclesiastes 1:2); and that thus the conjunction "and," with which ver. 9 begins, is readily explained. But the treatise is more artistically completed by regarding this solemn utterance as the conclusion of the whole, ending with the same burden with which it began - the nothingness of earthly things. Koheleth has labored to show this, he has pursued the thought from beginning to end, through all circumstances and conditions, and he can only re-echo his melancholy refrain. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher. He does not follow the destiny of the immortal spirit; it is not his purpose to do so; his theme is the fragility of mortal things, their unsatisfying nature, the impossibility of their securing man's happiness: so his voyage lands him at the point whence he set forth, though he has learned and taught faith in the interval. If all is vanity, there is behind and above all a God of inflexible justice, who must do right, and to whom we may safely trust our cares and perplexities. Koheleth," Preacher," here has the article, the Koheleth, as if some special reference was made to the meaning of the name - he who has been debating, or haranguing, or gathering together, utters finally his careful verdict. This is the sentence of the ideal Solomon, who has given his experiences in the preceding pages.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher,.... The wise man, or preacher, set out in the beginning of the book with this doctrine, or proposition, which he undertook to prove; and now having proved it by an induction of particulars, instanced in the wisdom, wealth, honours, pleasures, and profit of men, and shown the vanity of them, and that the happiness of men lies not in these things, but in the knowledge and fear of God; he repeats it, and most strongly asserts it, as an undoubted truth beyond all dispute and contradiction, that all things under the sun are not only vain, but vanity itself, extremely vain, vain in the superlative degree;

all is vanity; all things in the world are vain; all creatures are subject to vanity; man in every state, and in his best estate, is altogether vanity: this the wise man might with great confidence affirm, after he had shown that not only childhood and youth are vanity, but even old age; the infirmities, sorrows, and distresses of which he had just exposed, and observed that all issue in death, the last end of man, when his body returns to the earth, and his soul to God the giver of it.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8-12. A summary of the first part.

Vanity, &c.—Resumption of the sentiment with which the book began (Ec 1:2; 1Jo 2:17).

Ecclesiastes 12:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
Remember Your Creator in Your Youth
7then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. 8"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "all is vanity!"
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:1
The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

Ecclesiastes 1:2
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."

Ecclesiastes 1:12
I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
Treasury of Scripture

Vanity of vanities, said the preacher; all is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 1:2,14 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity…

Ecclesiastes 2:17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is worked under the …

Ecclesiastes 4:4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this …

Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knows what is good for man in this life, all the days of …

Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; …

Psalm 62:9 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a …

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