Ecclesiastes 2:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

New Living Translation
But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless--like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.

English Standard Version
Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

New American Standard Bible
Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

King James Bible
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When I considered all that I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.

International Standard Version
Then I examined all of my accomplishments that I had brought about by my own efforts, including the work that I had labored so hard to complete—and it was all pointless, like chasing after the wind, and there was nothing to be gained on earth.

NET Bible
Yet when I reflected on everything I had accomplished and on all the effort that I had expended to accomplish it, I concluded: "All these achievements and possessions are ultimately profitless--like chasing the wind! There is nothing gained from them on earth."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But when I turned to look at all that I had accomplished and all the hard work I had put into it, I saw that it was all pointless. [It was like] trying to catch the wind. I gained nothing [from any of my accomplishments] under the sun.

Jubilee Bible 2000
At last I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought and on the labour that I had laboured to do; and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

King James 2000 Bible
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had made, and on the labor that I had expended on it: and, behold, all was vanity and like grasping the wind, and there was no profit under the sun.

American King James Version
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

American Standard Version
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when I turned myself to all the works which my hands had wrought, and to the labours wherein I had laboured in vain, I saw in all things vanity, and vexation of mind, and that nothing was lasting under the sun.

Darby Bible Translation
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that it had cost me to do [them]; and behold, all was vanity and pursuit of the wind, and there was no profit under the sun.

English Revised Version
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

World English Bible
Then I looked at all the works that my hands had worked, and at the labor that I had labored to do; and behold, all was vanity and a chasing after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.

Young's Literal Translation
and I have looked on all my works that my hands have done, and on the labour that I have laboured to do, and lo, the whole is vanity and vexation of spirit, and there is no advantage under the sun!
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-11 Solomon soon found mirth and pleasure to be vanity. What does noisy, flashy mirth towards making a man happy? The manifold devices of men's hearts, to get satisfaction from the world, and their changing from one thing to another, are like the restlessness of a man in a fever. Perceiving it was folly to give himself to wine, he next tried the costly amusements of princes. The poor, when they read such a description, are ready to feel discontent. But the remedy against all such feelings is in the estimate of it all by the owner himself. All was vanity and vexation of spirit: and the same things would yield the same result to us, as to Solomon. Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. His wisdom remained with him; a strong understanding, with great human knowledge. But every earthly pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the mind as eager and unsatisfied as before. Happiness arises not from the situation in which we are placed. It is only through Jesus Christ that final blessedness can be attained.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 11. - Then I looked on - I turned to contemplate - all the works which my hands had wrought. He examined carefully the effects of the conduct and proceedings mentioned in vers. 1-10, and he now gives his matured judgment concerning them. They had contributed nothing to his anxious inquiry for man's real good. His sorrowful conclusion again is that all was vanity, a hunting of wind; in all the pursuits and labors that men undertake there is no real profit (Ecclesiastes 1:3), no lasting happiness, nothing to satisfy the cravings of the spirit.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do,.... He had looked at them, and on them, over and over again, and had taken pleasure therein; but now he sits down and enters into a serious consideration of them, what prodigious expenses he had been at; what care and thought, what toil and labour of mind, he had taken in contriving, designing, and bringing these works to perfection; what pleasure and delight he had found in them, and what happiness upon the whole arose from them: he now passes his judgment, and gives his sentiments concerning these things, having had it in his power to make himself master of everything delightful, which he did; was a competent judge, and thoroughly qualified to give a just estimate of matters; and it is as follows;

and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit; nothing solid and substantial in the whole; no true pleasure and real joy, and no satisfaction or happiness in that pleasure; these pleasing things perished with the using, and the pleasure of them faded and died in the enjoyment of them; and instead of yielding solid delight, only proved vexations, because the pleasure was so soon over, and left a thirst for more, and what was not to be had; at most and best, only the outward senses were fed, the mind not at all improved, nor the heart made better, and much less contented; it was only pleasing the fancy and imagination, and feeding on wind;

and there was no profit under the sun; by those things; to improve and satisfy the mind of man, to raise him to true happiness, to be of any service to him in the hour of death, or fit him for an eternal world. Alshech interprets the labour mentioned in this text of the labour of the law, which brings no reward to a man in this world.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

11. But all these I felt were only "vanity," and of "no profit" as to the chief good. "Wisdom" (worldly common sense, sagacity), which still "remained with me" (Ec 2:9), showed me that these could not give solid happiness.

Ecclesiastes 2:11 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Futility of Pleasures
10All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. 11Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.
Cross References
Psalm 89:47
Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all humanity!

Ecclesiastes 1:3
What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 1:14
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 1:17
Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:18
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.

Ecclesiastes 2:22
What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun?

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 3:9
What do workers gain from their toil?

Ecclesiastes 5:10
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 5:16
This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind?
Treasury of Scripture

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

i looked

Ecclesiastes 2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness: …

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very …

Exodus 39:43 And Moses did look on all the work, and, behold, they had done it …

1 John 2:16,17 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust …

behold

Ecclesiastes 1:3,14 What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes under the sun…

Habakkuk 2:13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labor …

1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

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