Ecclesiastes 2:26
Parallel Verses
New International Version
To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

New Living Translation
God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless--like chasing the wind.

English Standard Version
For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

New American Standard Bible
For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.

King James Bible
For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For to the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God's sight. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

International Standard Version
After all, to the person who is good in God's sight, he gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner he gives the troublesome task of acquiring and accumulating in order to leave it to someone who is good in the sight of God. This also is pointless and chasing after the wind.

NET Bible
For to the one who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner, he gives the task of amassing wealth--only to give it to the one who pleases God. This task of the wicked is futile--like chasing the wind!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to anyone who pleases him. But to the person who continues to sin, he gives the job of gathering and collecting [wealth]. The sinner must turn his wealth over to the person who pleases God. Even this is pointless. [It's like] trying to catch the wind.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For to the man that is good in His sight He giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner He giveth the task, to gather and to heap up, that he may leave to him that is good in the sight of God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

New American Standard 1977
For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For God gives to the man that is good in his sight wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to the one that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

King James 2000 Bible
For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping up, only that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping of the wind.

American King James Version
For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

American Standard Version
For to the man that pleaseth him God giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Douay-Rheims Bible
God hath given to a man that is good in his sight, wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he hath given vexation, and superfluous care, to heap up and to gather together, and to give it to him that hath pleased God: but this also is vanity, and a fruitless solicitude of the mind.

Darby Bible Translation
For he giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he giveth travail to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good in God's sight. This also is vanity and pursuit of the wind.

English Revised Version
For to the man that pleaseth him God giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Webster's Bible Translation
For God giveth to a man who is good in his sight, wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth toil, to gather, and to amass, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

World English Bible
For to the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Young's Literal Translation
For to a man who is good before Him, He hath given wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; and to a sinner He hath given travail, to gather and to heap up, to give to the good before God. Even this is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Commentary
Matthew Henry 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.
Study Bible
The Futility of Work
25For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him? 26For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.
Cross References
Job 27:16
"Though he piles up silver like dust And prepares garments as plentiful as the clay,

Job 27:17
He may prepare it, but the just will wear it And the innocent will divide the silver.

Job 32:8
"But it is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.

Job 38:36
"Who has put wisdom in the innermost being Or given understanding to the mind?

Psalm 39:6
"Surely every man walks about as a phantom; Surely they make an uproar for nothing; He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.

Psalm 51:6
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

Proverbs 2:6
For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 13:22
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

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 1:14
I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.
Treasury of Scripture

For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

in his sight

Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said to Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark; …

Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments …

wisdom

2 Chronicles 31:20,21 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and worked that which …

Proverbs 3:13-18 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding…

Isaiah 3:10,11 Say you to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they …

John 16:24 Till now have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, …

Romans 14:17,18 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, …

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, …

to the sinner

Job 27:16,17 Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay…

Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children: and …

Proverbs 28:8 He that by usury and unjust gain increases his substance, he shall …

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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 2:26 For to the man who pleases him (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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