Ecclesiastes 1:3
New International Version
What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?

New Living Translation
What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?

English Standard Version
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?

Berean Study Bible
What does a man gain from all his labor, at which he toils under the sun?

New American Standard Bible
What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun?

King James Bible
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

Christian Standard Bible
What does a person gain for all his efforts that he labors at under the sun?

Contemporary English Version
What is there to show for all of our hard work here on this earth?

Good News Translation
You spend your life working, laboring, and what do you have to show for it?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What does a man gain for all his efforts that he labors at under the sun?

International Standard Version
What does a man gain from all of the work that he undertakes on earth?

NET Bible
What benefit do people get from all the effort which they expend on earth?

New Heart English Bible
What does man gain from all his labor in which he labors under the sun?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
What do people gain from all their hard work under the sun?

JPS Tanakh 1917
What profit hath man of all his labour Wherein he laboureth under the sun?

New American Standard 1977
What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun?

Jubilee Bible 2000
What profit does a man have of all his labour which he takes under the sun?

King James 2000 Bible
What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes under the sun?

American King James Version
What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes under the sun?

American Standard Version
What profit hath man of all his labor wherein he laboreth under the sun?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
What advantage is there to a man in all his labour that he takes under the sun?

Douay-Rheims Bible
What hath a man more of all his labour, that he taketh under the sun?

Darby Bible Translation
What profit hath man of all his labour wherewith he laboureth under the sun?

English Revised Version
What profit hath man of all his labour wherein he laboureth under the sun?

Webster's Bible Translation
What profit hath a man of all his labor, which he taketh under the sun?

World English Bible
What does man gain from all his labor in which he labors under the sun?

Young's Literal Translation
What advantage is to man by all his labour that he laboureth at under the sun?
Study Bible
Everything is Futile
2“Futility of futilities,” says the Teacher, “futility of futilities! Everything is futile!” 3What does a man gain from all his labor, at which he toils under the sun? 4Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 16:16
to submit to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.

Ecclesiastes 2:11
Yet when I considered all the works that my hands had accomplished and what I had toiled to achieve, I found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind; there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:18
I hated all for which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who comes after me.

Ecclesiastes 2:22
For what does a man get for all the labor and endeavors at which he toils under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 3:9
What does the worker gain from his toil?

Ecclesiastes 5:16
This too is a grievous evil: Exactly as a man is born, so he will depart. What does he gain as he toils for the wind?

Treasury of Scripture

What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 2:22
For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 3:9
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

Ecclesiastes 5:16
And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?

under

Ecclesiastes 2:11,19
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun…

Ecclesiastes 4:3,7
Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun…

Ecclesiastes 5:18
Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.







Lexicon
What
מַה־ (mah-)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

does a man
לָֽאָדָ֑ם (lā·’ā·ḏām)
Preposition-l, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 120: Ruddy, a human being

gain
יִּתְר֖וֹן (yiṯ·rō·wn)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3504: Preeminence, gain

from all
בְּכָל־ (bə·ḵāl)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every

his labor,
עֲמָל֔וֹ (‘ă·mā·lōw)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5999: Toil, wearing effort, worry, wheth, of body, mind

at which he toils
שֶֽׁיַּעֲמֹ֖ל (še·ya·‘ă·mōl)
Pronoun - relative | Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5998: To toil, work severely and with irksomeness

under
תַּ֥חַת (ta·ḥaṯ)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 8478: The bottom, below, in lieu of

the sun?
הַשָּֽׁמֶשׁ׃ (haš·šā·meš)
Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's Hebrew 8121: The sun, the east, a ray, a notched battlement
(3-11) Man is perpetually toiling, yet of all his toil there remains no abiding result. The natural world exhibits a spectacle of unceasing activity, with no real progress. The sun, the winds, the waters, are all in motion, yet they do but run a round, and nothing comes of it.

(3) What profit.--The Hebrew word occurs ten times in this book (Ecclesiastes 2:11; Ecclesiastes 2:13; Ecclesiastes 3:9; Ecclesiastes 5:9; Ecclesiastes 5:16; Ecclesiastes 7:12; Ecclesiastes 10:10-11) and nowhere else in the Old Testament, but is common in post-Biblical Hebrew. The oft-recurring phrase "under the sun" is a peculiarity of this book. In other books we have "under heaven."

Verse 3. - What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun? Here begins the elucidation of the fruitlessness of man's ceaseless activity. The word rendered "profit" (yithron) is found only in this book, where it occurs frequently. It means "that which remains over, advantage," περισσεία, as the LXX. translates it. As the verb and the substantive are cognate in the following words, they are better rendered, in all his labor wherein he laboreth. So Euripides ('Androm,' 134) has, Τί μόχον μοχθεῖς, and ('And. Fragm.,' 7:4), Τοῖς μοχθοῦσι μόχθους εὐτυχῶς συνεκπόνει. Man is Adam, the natural man, unenlightened by the grace of God. Under the sun is an expression peculiar to this book (comp. vers. 9, 14; Ecclesiastes 2:11, 17, etc.), but is not intended to contrast this present with a future life; it merely refers to what we call sublunary matters. The phrase is often tact with in the Greek poets. Eurip., 'Alcest.,' 151 -

Γυνή τ ἀρίστη τῶν ὑφ ἡλίῳ μακρῷ
"By far the best of all beneath the sun." Homer, 'Iliad,' 4:44 -

Αι{ γὰρ ὑπ ἠελίῳ τε καὶ οὐρανῷ ἀστερόεντι
Ναιετάουσι πόληες ἐπιχθονίων ἀνθρώπων.
"Of all the cities occupied by man
Beneath the sun and starry cope of heaven."


(Cowper.) Theognis, 'Parcem.,' 167 -

Ὄλβιος οὐδεὶς
Ἀνθρώπων ὁπόσους ἠέλιος καθορᾷ
"No mortal man
On whom the sun looks down is wholly blest."
In an analogous sense we find in other passages of Scripture the terms "under heaven" (ver. 13; Ecclesiastes 2:3; Exodus 17:14; Luke 17:24) and "upon the earth" (Ecclesiastes 8:14, 16; Genesis 8:17). The interrogative form of the verse conveys a strong negative (comp. Ecclesiastes 6:8), like the Lord's word in Matthew 16:26, "What shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" The epilogue (Ecclesiastes 12:13) furnishes a reply to the desponding inquiry. 1:1-3 Much is to be learned by comparing one part of Scripture with another. We here behold Solomon returning from the broken and empty cisterns of the world, to the Fountain of living water; recording his own folly and shame, the bitterness of his disappointment, and the lessons he had learned. Those that have taken warning to turn and live, should warn others not to go on and die. He does not merely say all things are vain, but that they are vanity. VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL IS VANITY. This is the text of the preacher's sermon, of which in this book he never loses sight. If this world, in its present state, were all, it would not be worth living for; and the wealth and pleasure of this world, if we had ever so much, are not enough to make us happy. What profit has a man of all his labour? All he gets by it will not supply the wants of the soul, nor satisfy its desires; will not atone for the sins of the soul, nor hinder the loss of it: what profit will the wealth of the world be to the soul in death, in judgment, or in the everlasting state?
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