Ecclesiastes 2:23
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

New Living Translation
Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.

English Standard Version
For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

New American Standard Bible
Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

King James Bible
For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile.

International Standard Version
Indeed, all of his days are filled with sorrow, and his struggles bring grief. In fact, his mind remains restless throughout the night. This is pointless, too!

NET Bible
For all day long his work produces pain and frustration, and even at night his mind cannot relax! This also is futile!

New Heart English Bible
For all his days are sorrows, and his travail is grief; yes, even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Their entire life is filled with pain, and their work is unbearable. Even at night their minds don't rest. Even this is pointless.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For all his days are pains, and his occupation vexation; yea, even in the night his heart taketh not rest. This also is vanity.

New American Standard 1977
Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For all his days are only sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart does not take rest in the night. This is also vanity.

King James 2000 Bible
For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart takes not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

American King James Version
For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yes, his heart takes not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

American Standard Version
For all his days are but'sorrows, and his travail is grief; yea, even in the night his heart taketh no rest. This also is vanity.

Douay-Rheims Bible
All his days axe full of sorrows and miseries, even in the night he doth not rest in mind: and is not this vanity?

Darby Bible Translation
For all his days are sorrows, and his travail vexation: even in the night his heart taketh no rest. This also is vanity.

English Revised Version
For all his days are but sorrows, and his travail is grief; yea, even in the night his heart taketh no rest. This also is vanity.

Webster's Bible Translation
For all his days are sorrows, and his labor grief; yes, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

World English Bible
For all his days are sorrows, and his travail is grief; yes, even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.

Young's Literal Translation
For all his days are sorrows, and his travail sadness; even at night his heart hath not lain down; this also is vanity.
Study Bible
The Futility of Work
22For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? 23Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity. 24There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.…
Cross References
Genesis 3:17
Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.

Job 5:7
For man is born for trouble, As sparks fly upward.

Job 14:1
"Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil.

Psalm 127:2
It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Ecclesiastes 1:13
And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.

Ecclesiastes 1:18
Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

Ecclesiastes 2:11
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.

Ecclesiastes 5:17
Throughout his life he also eats in darkness with great vexation, sickness and anger.

Ecclesiastes 8:16
When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should never sleep day or night),
Treasury of Scripture

For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yes, his heart takes not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

all

Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage …

Job 5:7 Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.

Psalm 90:7-10,15 For we are consumed by your anger, and by your wrath are we troubled…

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread …

his heart

Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: …

Esther 6:1 On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring …

Job 7:13,14 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaints…

Psalm 6:6,7 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; …

Psalm 32:4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me: my moisture is turned …

Psalm 77:2-4 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, …

Daniel 6:18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither …

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue …

(23) The fact that the wise man must surrender his acquisitions exhibits the inutility of the painful toil by which he has gained them.

Verse 23. - All his days are sorrow, and his travail grief (comp. Ecclesiastes 5:16, 17). These are the real results of his lifelong efforts. All his days are pains and sorrows, bring trouble with them, and all his labor ends in grief. "Sorrows" and "grief" are pretreated respectively of "days" and "travail." Abstract nouns are often so used. Thus Ecclesiastes 10:12, "The words of a wise man's mouth are grace." The free-thinkers in Wisd. 2:1 complain that life is short and tedious (λυπηρὸς). Yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. He cannot sleep for thinking over his plans and hopes and disappointments. Not for him is the sweet sleep of the laboring man, who does his day's work, earns his repose, and frets not about the future. On the one hand care, on the ether satiety, murder sleep, and make the night torment. For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief,.... All his days are full of sorrows, of a variety of them; and all his affairs and transactions of life are attended with grief and trouble; not only the days of old age are evil ones, in which he can take no pleasure; or those times which exceed the common age of man, when he is got to fourscore years or more, and when his strength is labour and sorrow; but even all his days, be they fewer or more, from his youth upward, are all evil and full of trouble, Genesis 47:9;

yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night; which is appointed for rest and ease; and when laid down on his bed for it, as the word signifies; yet, either through an eager desire of getting wealth, or through anxious and distressing cares for the keeping it when gotten, he cannot sleep quietly and comfortably, his carking cares and anxious thoughts keep him waking; or, if he sleeps, his mind is distressed with dreams and frightful apprehensions of things, so that his sleep is not sweet and refreshing to him.

This is also vanity; or one of the vanities which belong to human life. 23. The only fruit he has is, not only sorrows in his days, but all his days are sorrows, and his travail (not only has griefs connected with it, but is itself), grief.2:18-26 Our hearts are very loth to quit their expectations of great things from the creature; but Solomon came to this at length. The world is a vale of tears, even to those that have much of it. See what fools they are, who make themselves drudges to the world, which affords a man nothing better than subsistence for the body. And the utmost he can attain in this respect is to allow himself a sober, cheerful use thereof, according to his rank and condition. But we must enjoy good in our labour; we must use those things to make us diligent and cheerful in worldly business. And this is the gift of God. Riches are a blessing or a curse to a man, according as he has, or has not, a heart to make a good use of them. To those that are accepted of the Lord, he gives joy and satisfaction in the knowledge and love of him. But to the sinner he allots labour, sorrow, vanity, and vexation, in seeking a worldly portion, which yet afterwards comes into better hands. Let the sinner seriously consider his latter end. To seek a lasting portion in the love of Christ and the blessings it bestows, is the only way to true and satisfying enjoyment even of this present world.
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