Ecclesiastes 2:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king's successor do than what has already been done?

New Living Translation
So I decided to compare wisdom with foolishness and madness (for who can do this better than I, the king?).

English Standard Version
So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done.

New American Standard Bible
So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done?

King James Bible
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then I turned to consider wisdom, madness, and folly, for what will the man be like who comes after the king? He will do what has already been done.

International Standard Version
Next I turned to examine wisdom, insanity, and foolishness, because what can a person do who succeeds the king except what has already been accomplished?

NET Bible
Next, I decided to consider wisdom, as well as foolish behavior and ideas. For what more can the king's successor do than what the king has already done?

New Heart English Bible
I turned myself to consider wisdom, madness, and folly. For what can the man who comes after the king do? Just that which he has already done.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then I turned [my attention] to experience wisdom, madness, and foolishness. For instance, what can the man who replaces the king do? Only what has already been done.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness and folly; for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

New American Standard 1977
So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly, for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I turned myself to behold wisdom and those who are mad, and folly; for what can the man do that comes after the king? even that which has already been done.

King James 2000 Bible
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can a man do that comes after the king? even that which has been already done.

American King James Version
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that comes after the king? even that which has been already done.

American Standard Version
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been done long ago.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I passed further to behold wisdom, and errors and folly, (What is man, said I, that he can follow the King his maker?)

Darby Bible Translation
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly; for what shall the man [do] that cometh after the king? -- that which hath already been done.

English Revised Version
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness and folly; for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

World English Bible
I turned myself to consider wisdom, madness, and folly: for what can the king's successor do? Just that which has been done long ago.

Young's Literal Translation
And I turned to see wisdom, and madness, and folly, but what is the man who cometh after the king? that which is already -- they have done it!
Commentary
Matthew Henry Commentary
2:12-17 Solomon found that knowledge and prudence were preferable to ignorance and folly, though human wisdom and knowledge will not make a man happy. The most learned of men, who dies a stranger to Christ Jesus, will perish equally with the most ignorant; and what good can commendations on earth do to the body in the grave, or the soul in hell? And the spirits of just men made perfect cannot want them. So that if this were all, we might be led to hate our life, as it is all vanity and vexation of spirit.
Study Bible
The Wise and the Foolish
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. 12So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done? 13And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:9
That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:10
Is there anything of which one might say, "See this, it is new "? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us.

Ecclesiastes 1:17
And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 3:15
That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.
Treasury of Scripture

And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that comes after the king? even that which has been already done.

i turned

Ecclesiastes 1:17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: …

Ecclesiastes 7:25 I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, …

even that which hath already been done

Ecclesiastes 2:25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?

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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 2:12 I turned myself to consider wisdom madness (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Ecclesiastes 2:11
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