Ecclesiastes 2:24
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,

New Living Translation
So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.

English Standard Version
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,

New American Standard Bible
There 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.

King James Bible
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God's hand,

International Standard Version
The only worthwhile thing for a human being is to eat, drink, and enjoy life's goodness that he finds in what he accomplishes. This, I observed, is also from the hand of God himself,

NET Bible
There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in their work. I also perceived that this ability to find enjoyment comes from God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
There is nothing better for people to do than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in their work. I saw that even this comes from the hand of God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. I also have seen that this is from the hand of God.

King James 2000 Bible
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

American King James Version
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

American Standard Version
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Is it not better to eat and drink, and to shew his soul good things of his labours? and this is from the hand of God.

Darby Bible Translation
There is nothing good for man, but that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

English Revised Version
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

World English Bible
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.

Young's Literal Translation
There is nothing good in a man who eateth, and hath drunk, and hath shewn his soul good in his labour. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 24. - There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink. The Vulgate makes the sentence interrogative, which the Hebrew does not sanction, Nonne melius est comedere et bibere? Septuagint Οὐκ ἔστιν ἀγαθὸν ἀνθρώπῳ ο{ φάγεται καὶ ο{ πίεται, "There is naught good to a man to eat or drink;" St. Jerome and others insert misi, "except for a man to eat," etc. This and the Authorized Version, which are more or less approved by most critics, make the writer enunciate a kind of modified Epicureanism, quotations in confirmation of which will be found set forth by Plumptre. It is not pretended that the present Hebrew text admits this exposition, and critics have agreed to modify the original in order to express the sense which they give to the passage. As it stands, the sentence runs, "It is not good in (בָּ) man that he should eat," etc. This is supposed to clash with later statements; e.g. Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13; Ecclesiastes 8:15; and to condemn all bodily pleasure even in its simplest form. Hence commentators insert מ ("than") before שֶׁיּלֺאכַל, supposing that the initial mere has dropped out after the terminal of the preceding word, adam (comp. Ecclesiastes 3:22). This solution of a difficulty might be allowed were the Hebrew otherwise incapable of explanation without doing violence to the sentiments elsewhere expressed. But this is not the case. As Metals has seen, the great point lies in the preposition ב, and what is stated is that it does not depend on man, it is not in his power, he is not at liberty to eat and drink and enjoy himself simply at his own will; his power and ability proceed wholly from God. A higher authority than his decides the matter. The phrase, "to eat and drink," is merely a periphrasis for living in comfort, peace, and affluence. St. Gregory, who holds that here and in other places Koheleth seems to contradict himself, makes a remark which is of general application, "He who looks to the text, and does not acquaint himself with the sense of the Holy Word, is not so much furnishing himself with instruction as bewildering himself in uncertainty, in that the literal words sometimes contradict themselves; but whilst by their oppositeness they stand at variance with themselves, they direct the reader to a truth that is to be understood" ('Moral.,' 4:1). They who read Epicureanism into the text fall into the error here denounced. They take the expression, "eat and drink," in the narrowest sense of bodily pleasure, whereas it was by no means so confined in the mind of a Hebrew. To eat bread in the kingdom of God, to take a place at the heavenly banquet, represents the highest bliss of glorified man (Luke 14:15; Revelation 19:9, etc.). In a lower degree it signifies earthly prosperity, as in Jeremiah 22:15, "Did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice? then it was well with him." So in our passage we find only the humiliating truth that man in himself is powerless to make his life happy or his labors successful. There is no Epicurean-ism, even in a modified form, in the Hebrew text as it has come down to us. With other supposed traces of this philosophy we shall have to deal subsequently (see on Ecclesiastes 3:12; 6:2). And that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor; i.e. taste the enjoyment of his labor, get pleasure as the reward of all his exertions, or find it in the actual pursuit. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. This is the point - the power of enjoyment depends on the will of God. The next verse substantiates this assertion.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink,.... Not in an immoderate and voluptuous manner, like the epicure and the atheist, that disbelieve a future state and the resurrection of the dead, and give up themselves to all sinful and sensual gratifications; but in a moderate way, enjoying in a cheerful and comfortable manner the good creatures of God, which he has given; being contented with them, thankful for them, and looking upon them as the blessings of divine goodness, and as flowing from the love of God to him; and thus freely using, and yet not abusing them. Some render it, "it is not good for a man to eat" (a), &c. immoderately and to excess, and to place his happiness in it: or, "there is no good with man" (b); it is not in the power of man to use the creatures aright. Jarchi renders it by way of interrogation, "is it not good?" which comes to the same sense with ours, and so the Vulgate Latin version;

and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour; not leave off labouring; nor eat and drink what he has not laboured for, or what is the fruit of other men's labour; but what is the effect of his own, and in which he continues; and this is the way to go on in it with cheerfulness, when he enjoys the good, and reaps the benefit and advantage of it; which is certainly preferable to a laying up his substance, and leaving it to he knows not who.

This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God; not only the riches a man possesses, but the enjoyment of them, or a heart to make use of them; see Ecclesiastes 5:18. The Midrash interprets this eating and drinking, of the law and good works: and the Targum explains it, causing the soul to enjoy the good of doing the commandments, and walking in right ways; and observes, that a man that prospers in this world, it is from the hand of the Lord, and is what is decreed to be concerning him.

(a) "non est igitur bonum", Vatablus. (b) "Non est bonum penes hominem", Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus, Gussetius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

24. English Version gives a seemingly Epicurean sense, contrary to the general scope. The Hebrew, literally is, "It is not good for man that he should eat," &c., "and should make his soul see good" (or "show his soul, that is, himself, happy"), &c. [Weiss]. According to Holden and Weiss, Ec 3:12, 22 differ from this verse in the text and meaning; here he means, "It is not good that a man should feast himself, and falsely make as though his soul were happy"; he thus refers to a false pretending of happiness acquired by and for one's self; in Ec 3:12, 22; 5:18, 19, to real seeing, or finding pleasure when God gives it. There it is said to be good for a man to enjoy with satisfaction and thankfulness the blessings which God gives; here it is said not to be good to take an unreal pleasure to one's self by feasting, &c.

This also I saw—I perceived by experience that good (real pleasure) is not to be taken at will, but comes only from the hand of God [Weiss] (Ps 4:6; Isa 57:19-21). Or as Holden, "It is the appointment from the hand of God, that the sensualist has no solid satisfaction" (good).

Ecclesiastes 2:24 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Futility of Work
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. 25For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?…
Cross References
Luke 12:19
And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."'

1 Corinthians 15:32
If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Ecclesiastes 2:3
I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.

Ecclesiastes 2:25
for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

Ecclesiastes 3:12
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

Ecclesiastes 3:13
That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil--this is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:22
So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?

Ecclesiastes 5:18
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them--for this is their lot.

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?

Ecclesiastes 8:15
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 9:7
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Isaiah 56:12
"Come," each one cries, "let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better."
Treasury of Scripture

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

nothing

Ecclesiastes 3:12,13,22 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and …

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat …

Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the …

Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a …

Ecclesiastes 11:9,10 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you …

Deuteronomy 12:12,18 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you, and your sons, …

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, …

Acts 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did …

1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, …

make his soul enjoy good

Ecclesiastes 3:13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good …

Ecclesiastes 5:19 Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given …

Ecclesiastes 6:2 A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he …

Malachi 2:2 If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give …

Luke 12:19,20 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for …

Jump to Previous
Better Delight Drink Drunk Eat Eateth Enjoy Enjoyment Find Good Hand Labor Meat Pleasure Satisfaction Shewn Soul Toil Work
Jump to Next
Better Delight Drink Drunk Eat Eateth Enjoy Enjoyment Find Good Hand Labor Meat Pleasure Satisfaction Shewn Soul Toil Work
Links
Ecclesiastes 2:24 NIV
Ecclesiastes 2:24 NLT
Ecclesiastes 2:24 ESV
Ecclesiastes 2:24 NASB
Ecclesiastes 2:24 KJV

Ecclesiastes 2:24 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 2:24 Bible Suite
Ecclesiastes 2:24 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 2:24 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 2:24 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 2:24 German Bible

Alphabetical: A also and better can do drink eat find for from God good hand have himself his I in is it labor man nothing of satisfaction see seen tell than that the There This to too work

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 2:24 There is nothing better for a man (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Ecclesiastes 2:23
Top of Page
Top of Page