Ecclesiastes 6:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

New Living Translation
Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless--like chasing the wind.

English Standard Version
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

New American Standard Bible
What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires. This too is futility and a striving after wind.

King James Bible
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Better what the eyes see than wandering desire. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

International Standard Version
It is better to focus on what you can see than to meander after your self-interest; this also is pointless and a chasing after wind.

NET Bible
It is better to be content with what the eyes can see than for one's heart always to crave more. This continual longing is futile--like chasing the wind.

New Heart English Bible
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It is better to look at what is in front of you than to go looking for what you want. Even this is pointless. [It's like] trying to catch the wind.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Better is the seeing of the eyes than the wandering of the desire; this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

New American Standard 1977
What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires. This too is futility and a striving after wind.

Jubilee Bible 2000
It is better to enjoy the good that is present than the wandering of desire; this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

King James 2000 Bible
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and grasping after the wind.

American King James Version
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

American Standard Version
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Better it is to see what thou mayst desire, than to desire that which thou canst not know. But this also is vanity, and presumption of spirit.

Darby Bible Translation
Better is the seeing of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and pursuit of the wind.

English Revised Version
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Webster's Bible Translation
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

World English Bible
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Young's Literal Translation
Better is the sight of the eyes than the going of the soul. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Commentary
Matthew Henry Commentary
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.
Study Bible
The Futility of Life
8For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living? 9What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires. This too is futility and a striving after wind. 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.…
Cross References
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.

Ecclesiastes 1:17
And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 11:9
Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things.
Treasury of Scripture

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

better

Ecclesiastes 2:24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, …

Ecclesiastes 3:12,13 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 …

wandering of the desire

Job 31:7 If my step has turned out of the way, and my heart walked after my …

Proverbs 30:15,16 The horse leach has two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are …

Jeremiah 2:20 For of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bands; and …

this

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

Ecclesiastes 1:2,14 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity…

Ecclesiastes 2:11,22,23 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the …

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

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