Ecclesiastes 7:15
Parallel Verses
New International Version
In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness.

New Living Translation
I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.

English Standard Version
In my vain life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.

New American Standard Bible
I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.

King James Bible
All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In my futile life I have seen everything: there is a righteous man who perishes in spite of his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who lives long in spite of his evil.

International Standard Version
I have seen it all during my pointless life: both a righteous person who dies while he is righteous, and a wicked person who lives to an old age, while remaining wicked.

NET Bible
During the days of my fleeting life I have seen both of these things: Sometimes a righteous person dies prematurely in spite of his righteousness, and sometimes a wicked person lives long in spite of his evil deeds.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I have seen it all in my pointless life: Righteous people die in spite of being righteous. Wicked people go on living in spite of being wicked.

Jubilee Bible 2000
All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perishes for his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his days by his wickedness.

King James 2000 Bible
All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his wickedness.

American King James Version
All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his wickedness.

American Standard Version
All this have I seen in my days of vanity: there is a righteous man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his evil-doing.

Douay-Rheims Bible
These things also I saw in the days of my vanity: A just man perisheth in his justice, and a wicked man liveth a long time in his wickedness.

Darby Bible Translation
All [this] have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a righteous [man] that perisheth by his righteousness, and there is a wicked [man] that prolongeth [his days] by his wickedness.

English Revised Version
All this have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a righteous man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his evil-doing.

Webster's Bible Translation
All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

World English Bible
All this have I seen in my days of vanity: there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who lives long in his evildoing.

Young's Literal Translation
The whole I have considered in the days of my vanity. There is a righteous one perishing in his righteousness, and there is a wrong-doer prolonging himself in his wrong.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

7:11-22 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, yea better. It shelters from the storms and scorching heat of trouble. Wealth will not lengthen out the natural life; but true wisdom will give spiritual life, and strengthen men for services under their sufferings. Let us look upon the disposal of our condition as the work of God, and at last all will appear to have been for the best. In acts of righteousness, be not carried into heats or passions, no, not by a zeal for God. Be not conceited of thine own abilities; nor find fault with every thing, nor busy thyself in other men's matters. Many who will not be wrought upon by the fear of God, and the dread of hell, will avoid sins which ruin their health and estate, and expose to public justice. But those that truly fear God, have but one end to serve, therefore act steadily. If we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves. Every true believer is ready to say, God be merciful to me a sinner. Forget not at the same time, that personal righteousness, walking in newness of life, is the only real evidence of an interest by faith in the righteousness of the Redeemer. Wisdom teaches us not to be quick in resenting affronts. Be not desirous to know what people say; if they speak well of thee, it will feed thy pride, if ill, it will stir up thy passion. See that thou approve thyself to God and thine own conscience, and then heed not what men say of thee; it is easier to pass by twenty affronts than to avenge one. When any harm is done to us, examine whether we have not done as bad to others.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 15-22. - Section 3. Warnings against excesses, and praise of the golden mean, which is practical wisdom and the art of living happily. Verse 15. - All things have I seen in the days of my vanity. Koheleth gives his own experience of an anomalous condition which often obtains in human affairs. "All," being here defined by the article, must refer to the cases which he has mentioned or proceeds to mention. "The days of vanity" mean merely "fleeting, vain days" (comp. Ecclesiastes 6:12). The expression denotes the writer's view of the emptiness and transitoriness of life (Ecclesiastes 1:2), and it may also have special reference to his own vain efforts to solve the problems of existence. There is a just (righteous) man that perisheth in his righteousness. Here is a difficulty about the dispensation of good and evil, which has always perplexed the thoughtful. It finds expression in Psalm 73, though the singer propounds a solution (ver. 17) which Koheleth misses. The meaning of the preposition (בְּ) before "righteousness" is disputed. Delitzsch, Wright, and others take it as equivalent to "in spite of," as in Deuteronomy 1:32, where "in this thing" means "notwithstanding," "for all this thing." Righteousness has the promise of long life and prosperity; it is an anomaly that it should meet with disaster and early death. We cannot argue from this that the author did not believe in temporal rewards and punishments; he states merely certain of his own experiences, which may be abnormal and capable of explanation. For his special purpose this was sufficient. Others take the preposition to mean "through," "in consequence of." Good men have always been persecuted for righteousness' sake (Matthew 5:10, 11; John 17:14; 2 Timothy 3:12), and so far the interpretation is quite admissible, and is perhaps supported by ver. 16, which makes a certain sort of righteousness the cause of disaster. But looking to the second clause of the present verse, where we can hardly suppose that the wicked man is said to attain to long life in consequence of his wickedness, we are safe in adopting the rendering, "in spite of." There is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in (in spite of) his wickedness. The verb arak, "to make long," "to prolong," is used both with and without the accusative "days" (see Ecclesiastes 8:12, 13; Deuteronomy 5:33; Proverbs 28:2). Septuagint, Ἐστὶν ἀσεβῆς μένων ἐν κακίᾳ αὐτοῦ, There is an ungodly man remaining in his wickedness," which does not convey the sense of the original. According to the moral government of God experienced by the Hebrews in their history, the sinner was to suffer calamity and to be cut off prematurely. This is the contention of Job's friends, against which he argues so warmly. The writer of the Book of Wisdom has learned to look for the correction of such anomalies in another life. He sees that length of days is not always a blessing, and that retribution awaits the evil beyond the grave (Wisd. 1:9 Wisd. 3:4, 10 Wisd. 4:8, 19, etc.). Abel perished in early youth; Cain had his days prolonged. This apparent inversion of moral order leads to another reflection concerning the danger of exaggerations.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

All things have I seen in the days of my vanity,.... Or, "all these things" (u). What goes before and follows after, the various changes men are subject unto, both good and bad; these he had made his observations upon, throughout the course of his life, which had been a vain one, as every man's is, full of evil and trouble; see Ecclesiastes 6:12; perhaps the wise man may have some respect to the times of his apostasy; and which might, among other things, be brought on by this; observing good men afflicted, and the wicked prosper, which has often been a stumbling to good men;

there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness; not eternally; no truly just man ever perished, who is made so by the righteousness of Christ imputed to him; for though the righteous man is said to be scarcely saved, yet he is certainly saved: it can be true only in this sense of one that is only outwardly righteous, that trusts to his own righteousness, in which he may perish; but this is to be understood temporally and corporeally; one that is really just may perish in his name, in his substance, as well as at death, and that on account of his righteousness; he may lose his good name and character, and his substance, for righteousness's sake; yea, his life also, as Abel, Naboth, and others; this is the case "sometimes", as Aben Ezra observes, not always: or a just man, notwithstanding his righteousness, dies, and sometimes lives but a short time; which sense the antithesis seems to require;

and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness; is very wicked, and yet, notwithstanding his great wickedness, lives a long time in the world; see Job 21:7.

(u) "illa omnia", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Tigurine version, Gejerus; "omnia haec", Mercerus; "universa haec", Rambachius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

15. An objection entertained by Solomon

in the days of his vanity—his apostasy (Ec 8:14; Job 21:7).

just … perisheth—(1Ki 21:13). Temporal not eternal death (Joh 10:28). But see on [664]Ec 7:16; "just" is probably a self-justiciary.

wicked … prolongeth—See the antidote to the abuse of this statement in Ec 8:12.

Ecclesiastes 7:15 Additional Commentaries
Context
Limits of Human Wisdom
15I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?…
Cross References
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 8:12
Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.

Ecclesiastes 8:13
Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.

Ecclesiastes 8:14
There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 9:9
Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun--all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.
Treasury of Scripture

All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his wickedness.

have I

Ecclesiastes 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yes, his heart …

Ecclesiastes 5:16,17 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall …

Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knows what is good for man in this life, all the days of …

Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage …

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

there is a just

Ecclesiastes 3:16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness …

Ecclesiastes 8:14 There is a vanity which is done on the earth; that there be just …

Ecclesiastes 9:1,2 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that …

1 Samuel 22:18,19 And the king said to Doeg, Turn you, and fall on the priests. And …

1 Kings 21:13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: …

2 Chronicles 24:21,22 And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the …

Job 9:22,23 This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroys the perfect and …

Matthew 23:34,35 Why, behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and …

John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that …

Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they …

there is a wicked

Ecclesiastes 8:12,13 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, …

Job 21:7-15 Why do the wicked live, become old, yes, are mighty in power…

Psalm 73:3-13 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked…

Isaiah 65:20 There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man that …

Jeremiah 12:1,2 Righteous are you, O LORD, when I plead with you: yet let me talk …

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