Ecclesiastes 1:16
New International Version
I said to myself, "Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge."

New Living Translation
I said to myself, "Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them."

English Standard Version
I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.”

Berean Study Bible
I said to myself, “Behold, I have grown and increased in wisdom beyond all those before me who were over Jerusalem, and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.”

New American Standard Bible
I said to myself, "Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge."

King James Bible
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

Christian Standard Bible
I said to myself, "See, I have amassed wisdom far beyond all those who were over Jerusalem before me, and my mind has thoroughly grasped wisdom and knowledge."

Contemporary English Version
I said to myself, "You are by far the wisest person who has ever lived in Jerusalem. You are eager to learn, and you have learned a lot."

Good News Translation
I told myself, "I have become a great man, far wiser than anyone who ruled Jerusalem before me. I know what wisdom and knowledge really are."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I said to myself, "Look, I have amassed wisdom far beyond all those who were over Jerusalem before me, and my mind has thoroughly grasped wisdom and knowledge."

International Standard Version
I told myself, "I have become greater and wiser than anyone who ruled before me in Jerusalem—yes, I have acquired a great deal of wisdom and knowledge."

NET Bible
I thought to myself, "I have become much wiser than any of my predecessors who ruled over Jerusalem; I have acquired much wisdom and knowledge."

New Heart English Bible
I said to myself, "Look, I have obtained for myself great wisdom above all who were before me in Jerusalem. Yes, my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I thought to myself, "I have grown wiser than anyone who [has ruled] Jerusalem before me. I've had a lot of experience with wisdom and knowledge."

JPS Tanakh 1917
I spoke with my own heart, saying: 'Lo, I have gotten great wisdom, more also than all that were before me over Jerusalem'; yea, my heart hath had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

New American Standard 1977
I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
I communed with my own heart, saying, Behold, I am come to great estate and have gotten more wisdom than all those that have been before me in Jerusalem; and my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

King James 2000 Bible
I communed with my own heart, saying, Lo, I have come to greatness, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

American King James Version
I communed with my own heart, saying, See, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yes, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

American Standard Version
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I have gotten me great wisdom above all that were before me in Jerusalem; yea, my heart hath had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
I spoke in my heart, saying, Behold, I am increased, and have acquired wisdom beyond all who were before me in Jerusalem: also I applied my heart to know wisdom and knowledge.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I have spoken in my heart, saying: Behold I am become great, and have gone beyond all in wisdom, that were before me in Jerusalem: and my mind hath contemplated many things wisely, and I have learned.

Darby Bible Translation
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I have become great and have acquired wisdom more than all they that have been before me over Jerusalem; and my heart hath seen much of wisdom and knowledge.

English Revised Version
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I have gotten me great wisdom above all that were before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart hath had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

Webster's Bible Translation
I communed with my own heart, saying, Lo, I have come to great estate, and have gained more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: and my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

World English Bible
I said to myself, "Behold, I have obtained for myself great wisdom above all who were before me in Jerusalem. Yes, my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge."

Young's Literal Translation
I -- I spake with my heart, saying, 'I, lo, I have magnified and added wisdom above every one who hath been before me at Jerusalem, and my heart hath seen abundantly wisdom and knowledge.
Study Bible
With Wisdom Comes Sorrow
15What is crooked cannot be straightened, and what is lacking cannot be counted. 16I said to myself, “Behold, I have grown and increased in wisdom beyond all those before me who were over Jerusalem, and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.” 17So I set my mind to know wisdom and madness and folly; I learned that this, too, is a pursuit of the wind.…
Cross References
1 Kings 3:12
behold, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

1 Kings 4:30
Solomon's wisdom was greater than that of all the men of the East, greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.

1 Kings 10:23
So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 2:9
So I became great and surpassed all in Jerusalem who had preceded me; and my wisdom remained with me.

Treasury of Scripture

I communed with my own heart, saying, See, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yes, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

communed

2 Kings 5:20
But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.

Psalm 4:4
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

Psalm 77:6
I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

lo

Ecclesiastes 2:9
So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.

1 Kings 3:12,13
Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee…

1 Kings 4:30
And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.

great experience of

Hebrews 5:14
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.







Lexicon
I
אֲנִ֤י (’ă·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 589: I

said
דִּבַּ֨רְתִּי (dib·bar·tî)
Verb - Piel - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

to
עִם־ (‘im-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5973: With, equally with

myself,
לִבִּי֙ (lib·bî)
Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 3820: The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, centre

“Behold,
הִנֵּ֨ה (hin·nêh)
Interjection
Strong's Hebrew 2009: Lo! behold!

I
אֲנִ֗י (’ă·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 589: I

have grown
הִגְדַּ֤לְתִּי (hiḡ·dal·tî)
Verb - Hifil - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 1431: To grow up, become great

and increased
וְהוֹסַ֙פְתִּי֙ (wə·hō·w·sap̄·tî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Conjunctive perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 3254: To add, augment

in wisdom
חָכְמָ֔ה (ḥāḵ·māh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2451: Wisdom

beyond
עַ֛ל (‘al)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

all
כָּל־ (kāl-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every

those
אֲשֶׁר־ (’ă·šer-)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

before me
לְפָנַ֖י (lə·p̄ā·nay)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 6440: The face

who were
הָיָ֥ה (hā·yāh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

over
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

Jerusalem,
יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם (yə·rū·šā·lim)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3389: Jerusalem -- probably 'foundation of peace', capital city of all Israel

and my mind
וְלִבִּ֛י (wə·lib·bî)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 3820: The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, centre

has observed
רָאָ֥ה (rā·’āh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

a wealth
הַרְבֵּ֖ה (har·bêh)
Verb - Hifil - Infinitive absolute
Strong's Hebrew 7235: To be or become much, many or great

of wisdom
חָכְמָ֥ה (ḥāḵ·māh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2451: Wisdom

and knowledge.�
וָדָֽעַת׃ (wā·ḏā·‘aṯ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1847: Knowledge
(16) Wisdom and knowledge.--Isaiah 30:6; Romans 11:33.

Verse 16. - Koheleth now arrives at his first conclusion, that wisdom is vanity. I communed with mine own heart. The expression suggests, as it were, an internal dialogue, as the Greek Venetian puts it, Διείλεγμαι ἐγὼ ξὺν τῇ καρδίᾳ μου (comp. Ecclesiastes 2:1, 15). Lo, I am come to great estate. If this be taken by itself, it makes Koheleth speak of his power and majesty first, and of his progress in wisdom afterwards; but it is best to connect it with what follows, and to confine the clause to one idea; thus: "I have obtained great and ever greater wisdom" - I have continually added to my stores of knowledge and experience. Than all they (above all) that have been before me in (over) Jerusalem. Who are the rulers alluded to? Solomon himself was only the second of the Israelite kings who reigned there; of the Canaanite princes who may have made that their capital, we have no knowledge, nor is R likely that Solomon would compare himself with them. The Targum has altered the approved reading, and gives, "Above all the wise men that were in Jerusalem before me." The reading, "in [instead of 'over'] Jerusalem," has indeed some manuscript authority, and is confirmed by the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Syriac, but it is evidently a correction of the text by critics who saw the difficulty of the authorized wording. Motais and others assert that the preposition in the Masoretic text, עַל (all, often means "in," as well as "over," when the reference is to an elevated spot; e.g., Isaiah 38:20; Hosea 11:11. But even granting this, we are still uncertain who are the persons meant. Commentators point to Melchizedek, Adonizedek, and Araunah among rulers, and to Ethan, Heman, Chalcol, and Darda (1 Kings 4:31) among sages. But we know nothing of the wisdom of the former, and there is no tangible reason why the latter should be designated "before me in Jerusalem." Doubtless the words point to a succession of kings who had reigned in Jerusalem, and the writer, involuntarily, perhaps, betrays his assumed character, in relying an excusable anachronism, while giving to the personated monarch a position which could not belong to the historical Solomon. Yea, my heart had great experience of (hath seen abundantly, κατὰ πολύ Venetian) wisdom and knowledge, הַרְבֵה used adverbially qualifies the word before it, "hath seen." The heart, as we have observed (ver. 13), is considered the seat of the intellectual life. In saying that the heart hath seen wisdom, the writer means that his mind has taken it in, apprehended and appropriated it (comp. Ecclesiastes 8:16; Job 4:8). Wisdom and knowledge; chokmah and daath; σοφίαν καὶ γνῶσιν (Septuagint), the former regarding the ethical and practical side, the latter the speculative, which leads to the other (comp. Isaiah 33:6; Romans 11:33). 1:12-18 Solomon tried all things, and found them vanity. He found his searches after knowledge weariness, not only to the flesh, but to the mind. The more he saw of the works done under the sun, the more he saw their vanity; and the sight often vexed his spirit. He could neither gain that satisfaction to himself, nor do that good to others, which he expected. Even the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom discovered man's wickedness and misery; so that the more he knew, the more he saw cause to lament and mourn. Let us learn to hate and fear sin, the cause of all this vanity and misery; to value Christ; to seek rest in the knowledge, love, and service of the Saviour.
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