Ecclesiastes 8:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.

New Living Translation
I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.

English Standard Version
then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.

New American Standard Bible
and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, "I know," he cannot discover.

King James Bible
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I observed all the work of God and concluded that man is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though a man labors hard to explore it, he cannot find it; even if the wise man claims to know it, he is unable to discover it.

International Standard Version
I saw all of it as the activity of God. Frankly, a human being cannot understand what happens on earth, because however hard a man works to discover it, he will not find out. Despite what he thinks he knows, he will not be able to figure it out.

NET Bible
then I discerned all that God has done: No one really comprehends what happens on earth. Despite all human efforts to discover it, no one can ever grasp it. Even if a wise person claimed that he understood, he would not really comprehend it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
then I saw everything that God has done. No one is able to grasp the work that is done under the sun. However hard a person may search for it, he will not find [its meaning]. Even though a wise person claims to know, he is not able to grasp it.

JPS Tanakh 1917
then I beheld all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun; because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

New American Standard 1977
and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I have seen regarding all the works of God that man cannot attain to understand the work that is being done under the sun, because though a man labours to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; even though the wise man says that he knows it, yet he shall not be able to attain it.

King James 2000 Bible
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labors to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea moreover; though a wise man thinks to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

American King James Version
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yes farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

American Standard Version
then I beheld all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however much a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea moreover, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I understood that man can find no reason of all those works of God that are done under the sun: and the more he shall labour to seek, so much the less shall he find: yea, though the wise man shall say, that he knoweth it, he shall not be able to find it.

Darby Bible Translation
then I saw that all [is] the work of God, [and] that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however man may labour to seek [it] out, yet doth he not find [it]; and even, if a wise [man] think to know [it], he shall not be able to find [it] out.

English Revised Version
then I beheld all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however much a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea moreover, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man may labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yes further; though a wise man thinketh to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

World English Bible
then I saw all the work of God, that man can't find out the work that is done under the sun, because however much a man labors to seek it out, yet he won't find it. Yes even though a wise man thinks he can comprehend it, he won't be able to find it.

Young's Literal Translation
then I considered all the work of God, that man is not able to find out the work that hath been done under the sun, because though man labour to seek, yet he doth not find; and even though the wise man speak of knowing he is not able to find.
Commentary
Matthew Henry Commentary
8:14-17 Faith alone can establish the heart in this mixed scene, where the righteous often suffer, and the wicked prosper. Solomon commended joy, and holy security of mind, arising from confidence in God, because a man has no better thing under the sun, though a good man has much better things above the sun, than soberly and thankfully to use the things of this life according to his rank. He would not have us try to give a reason for what God does. But, leaving the Lord to clear up all difficulties in his own time, we may cheerfully enjoy the comforts, and bear up under the trials of life; while peace of conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost will abide in us through all outward changes, and when flesh and heart shall fail.
Study Bible
God's Ways are Mysterious
16When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should never sleep day or night), 17and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, "I know," he cannot discover.
Cross References
Romans 11:33
O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways!

Psalm 73:16
When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight

Ecclesiastes 1:13
And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

Ecclesiastes 7:13
Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent?

Ecclesiastes 7:23
I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, "I will be wise," but it was far from me.

Ecclesiastes 7:24
What has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it?

Ecclesiastes 11:5
Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.
Treasury of Scripture

Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yes farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

that a man

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the …

Ecclesiastes 7:23,24 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it …

Ecclesiastes 11:5 As you know not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones …

Job 5:9 Which does great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number:

Job 11:7-9 Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the Almighty …

Psalm 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are your wonderful works which you have done, …

Psalm 73:16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

Psalm 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! in wisdom have you made them …

Proverbs 30:3,4 I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy…

Isaiah 40:28 Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, …

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! …

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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 8:17 Then I saw all the work (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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