Ecclesiastes 7:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.

New Living Translation
Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.

English Standard Version
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

New American Standard Bible
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

King James Bible
For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
There is certainly no righteous man on the earth who does good and never sins.

International Standard Version
For there is not a single righteous man on earth who practices good and does not sin.

NET Bible
For there is not one truly righteous person on the earth who continually does good and never sins.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Certainly, there is no one so righteous on earth that he always does what is good and never sins.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For surely there is not a just man upon earth that in doing good does not sin.

King James 2000 Bible
For there is not a just man upon earth, that does good, and sins not.

American King James Version
For there is not a just man on earth, that does good, and sins not.

American Standard Version
Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For there is no just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not.

Darby Bible Translation
Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not.

English Revised Version
Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Webster's Bible Translation
For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

World English Bible
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth, who does good and doesn't sin.

Young's Literal Translation
Because there is not a righteous man on earth that doth good and sinneth not.
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

Verse 20. - The wisdom above signified is, indeed, absolutely necessary, if one would escape the consequences of that frailty of nature which leads to transgression. Wisdom shows the sinner a way out of the evil course in which he is walking, and puts him back in that fear of God which is his only safety. For there is not a just man upon earth. The verse confirms ver. 19. Even the just man sinneth, and therefore needs wisdom. That doeth good, and sinneth not. This reminds us of the words in Solomon's prayer (1 Kings 8:46; Proverbs 20:9). So St. James (James 3:2) says, "In many things we all offend;" and St. John, "It' we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). A Greek gnome runs - Ἁμαρτάνει τι καὶ σοφοῦ σοφώτερος. "Erreth at times the very wisest man."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For there is not a just man upon earth,.... Or "although", or "notwithstanding" (d), wisdom is so beneficial, and guards and strengthens a good man, yet no man has such a share of it as to live without sin; there was not then one on earth, there never had been, one, nor never would be, nor has been, excepting the man Christ Jesus; who indeed, as man, was perfectly just, while here on earth, and went about doing good, and never sinned in all his life; but this cannot be said of any other, no, not of one that is truly and really just; not externally and in his own opinion only, but who is made so by the obedience of Christ, or by his righteousness imputed to him, while he is here on earth; otherwise in heaven, where the spirits of just men are made perfect, there it may be said of them what follows, but nowhere else;

that doeth good, and sinneth not; it is the character of a just man to do good, to do that which is according to the will of God, from a principle of love to him, through faith in him, in the name and strength of Christ, and with a view to the glory of God; to do good in such a sense wicked men cannot; only such who are made good by the grace of God, are regenerated and made new creatures in Christ, are quickened by his Spirit, and are true believers in him; who appear to be what they are, by the fruits of good works they bring forth; and this not in a mercenary way, or in order to obtain life and righteousness, but as constrained by the grace of God, by which they are freely justified; and yet these are not free from sin, as appears by their confessions and complaints, by their backslidings, slips, and falls, and their petitions for fresh discoveries of pardoning grace; and even are not without sin, and the commission of it, in religious duties, or while they are doing good; hence their righteousness is said to be as filthy rags, and mention is made of the iniquity of holy things, Isaiah 64:6. The Targum is,

"that does good all his days, and sins not before the Lord.''

Aben Ezra justly gives the sense thus,

"who does good always, and never sins;''

and observes that there are none but sin in thought, word, or deed. The poet (e) says,

"to sin is common to all men;''

no man, though ever so good, is perfect on earth, or free from sin; see 1 Kings 8:46. Alshech's paraphrase is,

"there is not a righteous man on earth, that does good, and sins not; , "in that good";''

which is the true sense of the words.

(d) "quamvis", Junius & Tremelllus, Amama, so Broughton; "attamen", Grotius. (e) Sophoclis Antigone, v. 1140.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. Referring to Ec 7:16. Be not "self-righteous," seek not to make thyself "just" before God by a superabundance of self-imposed performances; "for true 'wisdom,' or 'righteousness,' shows that there is not a just man," &c.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
Limits of Human Wisdom
19Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you.…
Cross References
Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 Kings 8:46
"When they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near;

2 Chronicles 6:36
"When they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to a land far away or near;

Job 15:14
"What are mortals, that they could be pure, or those born of woman, that they could be righteous?

Job 33:12
"But I tell you, in this you are not right, for God is greater than any mortal.

Psalm 143:2
Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.

Proverbs 20:9
Who can say, "I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin"?
Treasury of Scripture

For there is not a just man on earth, that does good, and sins not.

there

1 Kings 8:46 If they sin against you, (for there is no man that sins not,) and …

2 Chronicles 6:36 If they sin against you, (for there is no man which sins not,) and …

Job 15:14-16 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, …

Psalm 130:3 If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

Psalm 143:2 And enter not into judgment with your servant: for in your sight …

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his …

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, …

1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth …

doeth

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are …

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