Ecclesiastes 6:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

New Living Translation
God gives some people great wealth and honor and everything they could ever want, but then he doesn't give them the chance to enjoy these things. They die, and someone else, even a stranger, ends up enjoying their wealth! This is meaningless--a sickening tragedy.

English Standard Version
a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.

New American Standard Bible
a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction.

King James Bible
A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
God gives a man riches, wealth, and honor so that he lacks nothing of all he desires for himself, but God does not allow him to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger will enjoy them. This is futile and a sickening tragedy.

International Standard Version
a man to whom God gives wealth, riches, and honor, so that he lacks none of his heart's desires—but God does not give him the capability to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger consumes them. This is pointless and a grievous affliction.

NET Bible
God gives a man riches, property, and wealth so that he lacks nothing that his heart desires, yet God does not enable him to enjoy the fruit of his labor--instead, someone else enjoys it! This is fruitless and a grave misfortune.

New Heart English Bible
a man to whom God gives riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him no power to eat of it, but a foreigner eats it. This is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God gives one person riches, wealth, and honor so that he doesn't lack anything he wants. Yet, God doesn't give him the power to enjoy any of them. Instead, a stranger enjoys them. This is pointless and is a painful tragedy.

JPS Tanakh 1917
a man to whom God giveth riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it; this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

New American Standard 1977
a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires, but God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction.

Jubilee Bible 2000
A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honour so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but the strangers eat it; this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

King James 2000 Bible
A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him not power to eat of it, but a stranger eats it: this is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.

American King James Version
A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eats it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

American Standard Version
a man to whom God giveth riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacketh nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but an alien eateth it; this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A man to whom God hath given riches, and substance, and honour, and his soul wanteth nothing of all that he desireth: yet God doth not give him power to eat thereof, but a stranger shall eat it up. This is vanity and a great misery.

Darby Bible Translation
one to whom God giveth riches, wealth, and honour, and he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and a sore evil.

English Revised Version
a man to whom God giveth riches, wealth, and honour, so that he lacketh nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it; this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

Webster's Bible Translation
A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat of it, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

World English Bible
a man to whom God gives riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him no power to eat of it, but an alien eats it. This is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

Young's Literal Translation
A man to whom God giveth wealth, and riches, and honour, and there is no lack to his soul of all that he desireth, and God giveth him not power to eat of it, but a stranger eateth it; this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
Study Bible
The Futility of Life
1There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and it is prevalent among men-- 2a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction. 3If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, "Better the miscarriage than he,…
Cross References
1 Kings 3:13
"I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.

Psalm 17:14
From men with Your hand, O LORD, From men of the world, whose portion is in this life, And whose belly You fill with Your treasure; They are satisfied with children, And leave their abundance to their babes.

Psalm 73:7
Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart run riot.

Ecclesiastes 2:10
All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.

Ecclesiastes 5:13
There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt.

Ecclesiastes 5:19
Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.

Isaiah 55:2
"Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.
Treasury of Scripture

A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eats it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

a man

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

1 Kings 3:13 And I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches, …

1 Chronicles 29:25,28 And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel…

2 Chronicles 1:11 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in your heart, and you …

Daniel 5:18 O you king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom, …

Songs 2:4-10 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love…

Deuteronomy 8:7-10 For the LORD your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water…

Judges 18:10 When you go, you shall come to a people secure, and to a large land: …

Job 21:9-15 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God on them…

Psalm 17:14 From men which are your hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which …

Psalm 73:7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

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

yet

Deuteronomy 28:33,43 The fruit of your land, and all your labors, shall a nation which …

Psalm 39:6 Surely every man walks in a vain show: surely they are disquieted …

Lamentations 5:2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.

Hosea 7:9 Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knows it not: yes, gray …

vanity

Ecclesiastes 4:4,8 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this …

Ecclesiastes 5:16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall …

(2) Riches, wealth, and honour.--The three words are used together regarding Solomon (2Chronicles 1:11).

Verse 2. - A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honor. This is the evil to which reference is made. Two of the words here given, "riches" and "honor," are those used by God in blessing Solomon in the vision at Gibeon (1 Kings 3:13); but all three are employed in the parallel passage (2 Chronicles 1:11). So that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth. "His soul" is the man himself, his personality, as Psalm 49:19. So in the parable (Luke 12:19) the rich fool says to his soul, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years." In the supposed case the man is able to procure for himself everything which he wants; has no occasion to deny himself the gratification of any rising desire. All this comes from God's bounty; but something more is wanted to bring happiness. Yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof. "To eat" is used in a metaphorical sense for "to enjoy," take advantage of, make due use of (see on Ecclesiastes 2:24). The ability to enjoy all these good things is wanting, either from discontent, or moroseness, or sickness, or as a punishment for secret sin. But a stranger eateth it. The "stranger" is not the legal heir, but an alien to the possessor's blood, neither relation nor even necessarily a friend. For a childless Oriental to adopt an heir is a common custom at the present day. The wish to continue a family, to leave a name and inheritance to children's children, was very strong among the Hebrews - all the stronger as the life beyond the grave was dimly apprehended. Abraham expressed this feeling when he sadly cried, "I go childless, and he that shall be possessor of my house is Dammesek Eliezer" (Genesis 15:2). The evils are two - that this great fortune brings no happiness to its possessor, and that it passes to one who is nothing to him. An evil disease; αῥῤωστία πονηρά, Septuagint, an evil as bad as the diseases spoken of in Deuteronomy 28:27, 28. A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour,.... By "riches" may be meant gold and silver, things which a covetous man is never satisfied with; and by "wealth", cattle, with which farms and fields are stocked: the wealth of men, especially in former times, and in the eastern countries, lay very much in these, as did the wealth of Abraham and Job, Genesis 13:2; and all these, as they are reckoned glorious and honourable in themselves; so they create honour and glory among men, and raise to high and honourable places; and these, as they go, they are usually put together, and are called by the name of honour and glory itself; see Proverbs 3:16. And they are all the gifts of God, which he either as blessings bestows upon men, or suffers men to attain unto, though a curse may go along with them; which is the case here, for no man whatever is possessed of them but by the will of God or his divine permission; see 1 Chronicles 29:12; and which a man may, and sometimes has, such a plentiful portion of;

so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth: he has not only for the supply of his wants, what is necessary for his daily use and service, but even what is for delight and pleasure; yea, as much as he could reasonably wish for; nay, more than heart could wish, Psalm 73:7;

yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof; the Targum adds, "because of his sin"; either he takes it away from him, he making no use of it; or his appetite is taken away, that he has no desire to it; or rather he has no heart to enjoy what he has, and scarce any part of it; not to eat and drink, and wear suitably to his circumstances, but grudges whatever he lays out on his back or belly, or in housekeeping in his family; for though God gives him a large substance, yet not a heart to make use of it, without which he cannot enjoy it; and therefore it would have been as good, or better for him, to have been without it; see Ecclesiastes 5:19;

but a stranger eateth it; the Syriac version adds, "after him"; enjoys it, not only a part of it, but the whole; one that is not akin to him, and perhaps was never known by him; and yet, by one means or another, either in a lawful or unlawful way, comes into the possession of all he has; this has been always reckoned a great unhappiness, Lamentations 5:2. Hence it follows,

this is vanity, and it is an evil disease; it is a vain thing to be possessed of great substance, and not enjoy anything of it in a comfortable way, through the sin of covetousness; which is a spiritual disease, and a very bad one; very prejudicial to the soul, and the state of it, and is rarely cured. Juvenal (w) calls it frenzy and madness for a man to live poor, that be may die rich; he is like the ass that Crassus Agelastus saw, loaded with figs, and eating thorns.

(w) "Cum furor dubius", &c. Satyr. 14. v. 136. exposed by Persius, Sat. 6. v. 69, &c. "unge puer caules", &c. 2. for his soul—that is, his enjoyment.

God giveth him not power to eat—This distinguishes him from the "rich" man in Ec 5:19. "God hath given" distinguishes him also from the man who got his wealth by "oppression" (Ec 5:8, 10).

stranger—those not akin, nay, even hostile to him (Jer 51:51; La 5:2; Ho 7:9). He seems to have it in his "power" to do as he will with his wealth, but an unseen power gives him up to his own avarice: God wills that he should toil for "a stranger" (Ec 2:26), who has found favor in God's sight.6:1-6 A man often has all he needs for outward enjoyment; yet the Lord leaves him so to covetousness or evil dispositions, that he makes no good or comfortable use of what he has. By one means or other his possessions come to strangers; this is vanity, and an evil disease. A numerous family was a matter of fond desire and of high honour among the Hebrews; and long life is the desire of mankind in general. Even with these additions a man may not be able to enjoy his riches, family, and life. Such a man, in his passage through life, seems to have been born for no end or use. And he who has entered on life only for one moment, to quit it the next, has a preferable lot to him who has lived long, but only to suffer.
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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 6:2 A man to whom God gives riches (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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