Ecclesiastes 6:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?

New Living Translation
The more words you speak, the less they mean. So what good are they?

English Standard Version
The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man?

New American Standard Bible
For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man?

King James Bible
Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For when there are many words, they increase futility. What is the advantage for man?

International Standard Version
Because many words lead to pointlessness, how do people benefit from this?

NET Bible
The more one argues with words, the less he accomplishes. How does that benefit him?

New Heart English Bible
For there are many words that create vanity. What does that profit man?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The more words there are, the more pointless they become. What advantage do mortals gain from this?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Seeing there are many words that increase vanity, what is man the better?

New American Standard 1977
For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Certainly the many words multiply vanity, what more does man have?

King James 2000 Bible
Since there are many things that increase vanity, how is man the better?

American King James Version
Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

American Standard Version
Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

Douay-Rheims Bible
There are many words that have much vanity in disputing.

Darby Bible Translation
For there are many things that increase vanity: what is man advantaged?

English Revised Version
Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

Webster's Bible Translation
Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

World English Bible
For there are many words that create vanity. What does that profit man?

Young's Literal Translation
For there are many things multiplying vanity; what advantage is to man?
Study Bible
The Futility of Life
10Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is. 11For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man? 12For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 2:15
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."

Ecclesiastes 6:10
Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is.

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?
Treasury of Scripture

Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

Ecclesiastes 1:6-9,17,18 The wind goes toward the south, and turns about to the north; it …

Ecclesiastes 2:3-11 I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart …

Ecclesiastes 3:19 For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing …

Ecclesiastes 4:1-4,8,16 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under …

Ecclesiastes 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers …

Psalm 73:6 Therefore pride compasses them about as a chain; violence covers …

Hosea 12:1 Ephraim feeds on wind, and follows after the east wind: he daily …

(11) Things.--We might also translate "words."

Verse 11. - Seeing there be many things that increase vanity. The noun rendered"things" (dabar) may equally mean "words;" and it is a question which signification is most appropriate here. The Septuagint has λόγοι πολλοί, "many words." So the Vulgate, verba sunt plurima. If we take the rendering of the Authorized Version, we must understand the passage to mean that the distractions of business, the cares of life, the constant disappointments, make men feel the hollowness and unsatisfactory nature of labor and wealth and earthly goods, and their absolute dependence upon Providence. But in view of the previous context, and especially of ver. 10, which speaks of contending (din) with God, it is most suitable to translate debarim "words," and to understand them of the expressions of impatience, doubt, and unbelief to which men give utterance when arraigning the acts or endeavoring to explain the decrees of God. Such profitless words only increase the perplexity in which men are involved. It is very possible that reference is here made to the discussions on the chief good, free-will, predestination, and the like subjects, which, as we know from Josephus, had begun to be mooted in Jewish schools, as they had long been rife in those of Greece. In these disputes Pharisees and Sadducees took opposite sides. The former maintained that some things, but not all, were the subject of fate (τῆς εἱμαρμένης), and that certain things were in our own power to do or not to do; that is, while they attribute all that happens to fate, or God's decree, they hold that man has the power of assent, supposing that God tempers all in such sort, that by his ordinance and man's will all things are performed, good or evil. The Sadducees eliminated fate altogether from human actions, and asserted that men are in all things governed, not by any external force, but by their own will alone; that their success and happiness depended upon themselves, and that ill fortune was the consequence of their own folly or stupidity. A third school, the Essenes, held that fate was supreme, and that nothing could happen to mankind beyond or in contravention of its decree ('Joseph. Ant.,' 13:5. 9; 18:1:3, 4; 'Bell. Jud.,' 2:08. 14). Such speculative discussions may have been in Koheleth's mind when he wrote this sentence. Whatever may be the difficulties of the position, we Christians know and feel that in matters of religion and morality we are absolutely free, have an unfettered choice, and that from this fact arises our responsibility. What is man the better? What profit has man from such speculations or words of skepticism? Seeing there be many things that increase vanity,.... As appears by all that has been said in this and the preceding chapters; such as wisdom and knowledge, wealth and riches, pleasure, power, and authority. Man is a poor vain creature himself, all he is and has is vanity; and these serve but to increase it, and make him vainer and vainer still;

what is man the better? for these things? not at all, rather the worse, being more vain; there is no profit by them, no excellency arises to him from them, no happiness in them, nothing that will be of any service to him, especially with respect to a future state, or when he comes to die. It may be rendered, as it is in the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, "seeing there are many words that multiply vanity"; as all such words do that are used with God by way of murmur and complaint concerning a man's lot and condition in this world, and as expostulating and contending with him about it; these increase sin, and by them men contract more guilt, and therefore are not the better for such litigations, but the worse; and so the words stand in connection with Ecclesiastes 6:10, but the former sense seems best, this being the conclusion of the wise man's discourse concerning vanity. So the Targum and Jarchi understand it of things, and not words. 11. "Seeing" that man cannot escape from the "vanity," which by God's "mighty" will is inherent in earthly things, and cannot call in question God's wisdom in these dispensations (equivalent to "contend," etc.),

what is man the better—of these vain things as regards the chief good? None whatever.6:7-12 A little will serve to sustain us comfortably, and a great deal can do no more. The desires of the soul find nothing in the wealth of the world to give satisfaction. The poor man has comfort as well as the richest, and is under no real disadvantage. We cannot say, Better is the sight of the eyes than the resting of the soul in God; for it is better to live by faith in things to come, than to live by sense, which dwells only upon present things. Our lot is appointed. We have what pleases God, and let that please us. The greatest possessions and honours cannot set us above the common events of human life. Seeing that the things men pursue on earth increase vanities, what is man the better for his worldly devices? Our life upon earth is to be reckoned by days. It is fleeting and uncertain, and with little in it to be fond of, or to be depended on. Let us return to God, trust in his mercy through Jesus Christ, and submit to his will. Then soon shall we glide through this vexatious world, and find ourselves in that happy place, where there is fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore.
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