Ecclesiastes 2:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then I said to myself, "The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?" I said to myself, "This too is meaningless."

New Living Translation
Both will die. So I said to myself, "Since I will end up the same as the fool, what's the value of all my wisdom? This is all so meaningless!"

English Standard Version
Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

New American Standard Bible
Then I said to myself, "As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?" So I said to myself, "This too is vanity."

King James Bible
Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So I said to myself, "What happens to the fool will also happen to me. Why then have I been overly wise?" And I said to myself that this is also futile.

International Standard Version
Then I told myself, "Whatever happens to the fool will happen also to me. Therefore what's the point in being so wise?" And I told myself that this also is pointless.

NET Bible
So I thought to myself, "The fate of the fool will happen even to me! Then what did I gain by becoming so excessively wise?" So I lamented to myself, "The benefits of wisdom are ultimately meaningless!"

New Heart English Bible
Then said I in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise?" Then said I in my heart that this also is vanity.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I thought to myself, "[If] the destiny that waits for the fool waits for me as well, then what is the advantage in being wise?" So I thought that even this is pointless.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then said I in my heart: 'As it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise?' Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

New American Standard 1977
Then I said to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So I said to myself, “This too is vanity.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then I said in my heart, As it shall happen to the fool, so it shall happen even to me. Why have I worked until now to make myself wiser? Then I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

King James 2000 Bible
Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

American King James Version
Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

American Standard Version
Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then said I in my heart, that this also is vanity.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I said in my heart: If the death of the fool and mine shall be one, what doth it avail me, that I have applied myself more to the study of wisdom? And speaking with my own mind, I perceived that this also was vanity.

Darby Bible Translation
And I said in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool so will it happen even to me; and why was I then so wise? Then I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

English Revised Version
Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also was vanity.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

World English Bible
Then I said in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

Young's Literal Translation
and I said in my heart, 'As it happeneth with the fool, it happeneth also with me, and why am I then more wise?' And I spake in my heart, that also this is vanity:
Study Bible
The Wise and the Foolish
14The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. 15Then I said to myself, "As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?" So I said to myself, "This too is vanity." 16For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 2:16
For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!

Ecclesiastes 6:8
For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living?

Ecclesiastes 6:11
For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man?
Treasury of Scripture

Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

even to me

Ecclesiastes 1:16,18 I communed with my own heart, saying, See, I am come to great estate…

1 Kings 3:12 Behold, I have done according to your words: see, I have given you …

then

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

Verse 15. - Then (and) said I in my heart (Ecclesiastes 1:16), As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me. He applies the general statement of ver. 14 to his own case. The end that overtakes the fool will ere long overtake him; and he proceeds, Why was I then more wise? "Then" (אז), may be understood either logically, i.e. in this case, since such is the fate of wise and foolish; or temporally, at the hour of death regarded as past. He puts the question - To what end, with what design, has he been so excessively wise, or, as it may be, wise overmuch (Ecclesiastes 7:16)? His wisdom has, as it were, recoiled upon himself - it taught him much, but not content; it made him keen-sighted in seeing the emptiness of human things, but it satisfied not his cravings. Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. This similarity of fate for philosopher and fool makes life vain and worthless; or rather, the meaning may be, if the superiority of wisdom over folly conduces to no other end than this, that superiority is a vanity. The LXX. has glossed the passage, followed herein by the Syriac, "Moreover, I spake in my heart that indeed this is also vanity, because the fool speaks out of his abundance" - ver. 16 giving the substance of the fool's thoughts. Vulgate, Locutusque cum mente mea, animadverti quod hoc quoque esset vanitas. Our Hebrew text does not confirm this interpretation or addition. Then said I in my heart, as it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me,.... The wisest of kings, and the wisest of men; that is, he looked over things in his mind, and considered what had befallen him, or what were his present circumstances, or what would be his case, especially at death; and said within himself, the same things happen to me, who have attained to the highest pitch of wisdom, as to the most errant fool; and therefore no true happiness can be in this sort of wisdom. The Targum paraphrases it thus,

"as it happened to Saul the son of Kish, the king who turned aside perversely, and kept not the commandment he received concerning Amalek, and his kingdom was taken from him; so shall it happen to me;''

and why was I then more wise? the Targum adds, than he, or than any other man, or even than a fool; why have I took so much pains to get wisdom? what am I the better for it? what happiness is there in it, seeing it gives me no advantage, preference, and excellency to a fool; or secures me from the events that befall me?

Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity; this worldly wisdom has nothing solid and substantial in it, as well as pleasure; and it is a vain thing to seek happiness in it, since this is the case, that the events are the same to men that have it, as to one that has it not. 15. why was I—so anxious to become, etc. (2Ch 1:10).

Then—Since such is the case.

this—namely, pursuit of (worldly) wisdom; it can never fill the place of the true wisdom (Job 28:28; Jer 8:9).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.
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