Ecclesiastes 11:8
New International Version
However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.

New Living Translation
When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life. But let them also remember there will be many dark days. Everything still to come is meaningless.

English Standard Version
So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.

Berean Study Bible
So if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is futile.

New American Standard Bible
Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility.

New King James Version
But if a man lives many years And rejoices in them all, Yet let him remember the days of darkness, For they will be many. All that is coming is vanity.

King James Bible
But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

Christian Standard Bible
Indeed, if someone lives many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, since they will be many. All that comes is futile.

Contemporary English Version
Even if you have a very long life, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. Nothing makes sense.

Good News Translation
Be grateful for every year you live. No matter how long you live, remember that you will be dead much longer. There is nothing at all to look forward to.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Indeed, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, since they will be many. All that comes is futile.

International Standard Version
Even if a person lives many years, let him enjoy them all, recalling that there will be many days of darkness to come—all of which are pointless.

NET Bible
So, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all, but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many--all that is about to come is obscure.

New Heart English Bible
Yes, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Even though people may live for many years, they should enjoy every one of them. But they should also remember there will be many dark days. Everything that is coming is pointless.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For if a man live many years, Let him rejoice in them all, And remember the days of darkness, For they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

New American Standard 1977
Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. Everything that is to come will be futility.

Jubilee Bible 2000
but if a man lives many years and rejoices in them all; yet if afterwards he remembers the days of darkness, for they shall be many, he shall say that everything that shall have happened to him is vanity.

King James 2000 Bible
But if a man lives many years, and rejoices in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity.

American King James Version
But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity.

American Standard Version
Yea, if a man live many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
For even if a man should live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If a man live many years, and have rejoiced in them all, he must remember the darksome time, and the many days: which when they shall come, the things past shall be accused of vanity.

Darby Bible Translation
but if a man live many years, [and] rejoice in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many: all that cometh is vanity.

English Revised Version
Yea, if a man live many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if a man shall live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

World English Bible
Yes, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity.

Young's Literal Translation
But, if man liveth many years, In all of them let him rejoice, And remember the days of darkness, For they are many! all that is coming is vanity.
Study Bible
Enjoy Your Years
7Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. 8So if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is futile. 9Rejoice, O young man, while you are young, and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 9:7
Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart, for God has already approved your works:

Ecclesiastes 11:2
Divide your portion among seven, or even eight, for you do not know what disaster may befall the land.

Ecclesiastes 12:1
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of adversity come, and the years approach of which you will say, "I find no pleasure in them,"

Treasury of Scripture

But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity.

if a man

Ecclesiastes 6:6
Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

Ecclesiastes 8:12
Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:

rejoice

Ecclesiastes 3:12,13
I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life…

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20
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…

Ecclesiastes 8:15
Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.

all that

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11,15,17,19,21-23,26
I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity…

Ecclesiastes 4:8,16
There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail…

Ecclesiastes 5:15,16
As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand…







Lexicon
So
כִּ֣י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

if
אִם־ (’im-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

a man
הָאָדָ֖ם (hā·’ā·ḏām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 120: Ruddy, a human being

lives
יִחְיֶ֥ה (yiḥ·yeh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2421: To live, to revive

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

years,
שָׁנִ֥ים (šā·nîm)
Noun - feminine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8141: A year

let him rejoice
יִשְׂמָ֑ח (yiś·māḥ)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8055: To brighten up, be, blithe, gleesome

in them all;
בְּכֻלָּ֣ם (bə·ḵul·lām)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every

but let him remember
וְיִזְכֹּר֙ (wə·yiz·kōr)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2142: To mark, to remember, to mention, to be male

the days
יְמֵ֣י (yə·mê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 3117: A day

of darkness,
הַחֹ֔שֶׁךְ (ha·ḥō·šeḵ)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2822: The dark, darkness, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness

for
כִּֽי־ (kî-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

they will be
יִהְי֖וּ (yih·yū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

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

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

to come
שֶׁבָּ֥א (šeb·bā)
Pronoun - relative | Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 935: To come in, come, go in, go

is futile.
הָֽבֶל׃ (hā·ḇel)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1892: Emptiness, vanity, transitory, unsatisfactory
(8) Days of darkness.--Psalm 88:12; Psalm 143:3; Job 10:21. (Comp. also Psalm 56:13; Job 33:30.)

Verse 8. - But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all. The conjunction ki at the commencement of the verse is causal rather than adversative, and should be rendered "for." The insertion of "and" before "rejoice" mars the sentence. The apodosis begins with "rejoice," and the translation is, For if a man live many years, he ought to rejoice in them all. Koheleth has said (ver. 7) that life is sweet and precious; now he adds that it is therefore man's duty to enjoy it; God has ordained that he should do so, whether his days on earth be many or few. Yet let him remember the days of darkness. The apodosis is continued, and the clause should run, And remember, etc. "The days of darkness ' do not mean times of calamity as contrasted with the light of prosperity, as though the writer were bidding one to be mindful of the prospect of disastrous change in the midst of happiness; nor, again, the period of old age distinguished from the glowing light of youth (Virgil, 'AEneid,' L 590, 591). The days of darkness signify the life in Hades, far from the light of the sun, gloomy, uncheered. The thought of this state should not make us hopeless and reckless, like the sensualists whose creed is to "eat and drink, for to-morrow we die" (1 Corinthians 15:82; Wisd. 2:1, etc.), but rouse us to make the best of life, to be contented and cheerful, doing our daily duties with the consciousness that this is our day of labor and joy, and that "the night cometh when no man can work ' (John 9:4). Wisely says Beu-Sira, "Whatsoever thou takest in hand, remember the end, and thou shalt never do amiss" (Ecclus. 7:36). We are reminded of the Egyptian custom, mentioned by Herodotus (2. 78), of carrying a figure of a corpse among the guests at a banquet, not in order to damp pleasure, but to give zest to the enjoyment of the present and to keep it under proper control. "Look on this!" it was cried; "drink, and enjoy thyself; for when thou diest thou shalt he such." The Roman poet has many a passage like this, though, of course, of lower tendency. Thus Horace, 'Carm.,' 2:3 -

"Preserve, O my Dellius, whatever thy fortunes,
A mind undisturbed, 'midst life's changes and ills;
Not cast down by its sorrows, nor too much elated
If sudden good fortune thy cup overfills,"
etc.

(Stanley.) (See also 'Carm.,' 1:4.) For they shall be many; rather, that they shall be many. This is one of the things to remember. The time in Sheol will be long. How to be passed - when, if ever, to end - he says not; he looks forward to a dreary protracted period, when joy shall be unattainable, and therefore he bids men to use the present, which is all they can claim. All that cometh is vanity. All that comes after this life is ended, the great future, is nothingness; shadow, not substance; a state from which is absent all that made life, and over which we have no control. Koheleth had passed the sentence of vanity on all the pursuits of the living man; now he gives the same verdict upon the unknown condition of the departed soul (comp, Ecclesiastes 9:5). Till the gospel had brought life and immortality to light, the view of the future was dark and gloomy. So we read in Job (Job 10:21, 22), "I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and of the shadow of death; a land of thick darkness, as darkness itself; a land of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness." The Vulgate gives quite a different turn to the clause, rendering, Meminisse debet tenebrosi temporis, et dierum multorum; qui cum venerint, vanitatis arguentur praeterita, "He ought to remember... the many days; and when these have come, things passed shall be charged with vanity" - which implies, in accordance with an haggadic interpretation of the passage, that the sinner shall suffer for his transgressions, and shall then learn to acknowledge his folly in the past. It is unnecessary to say that the present text is at variance with this rendering. 11:7-10 Life is sweet to bad men, because they have their portion in this life; it is sweet to good men, because it is the time of preparation for a better; it is sweet to all. Here is a caution to think of death, even when life is most sweet. Solomon makes an effecting address to young persons. They would desire opportunity to pursue every pleasure. Then follow your desires, but be assured that God will call you into judgment. How many give loose to every appetite, and rush into every vicious pleasure! But God registers every one of their sinful thoughts and desires, their idle words and wicked words. If they would avoid remorse and terror, if they would have hope and comfort on a dying bed, if they would escape misery here and hereafter, let them remember the vanity of youthful pleasures. That Solomon means to condemn the pleasures of sin is evident. His object is to draw the young to purer and more lasting joys. This is not the language of one grudging youthful pleasures, because he can no longer partake of them; but of one who has, by a miracle of mercy, been brought back in safety. He would persuade the young from trying a course whence so few return. If the young would live a life of true happiness, if they would secure happiness hereafter, let them remember their Creator in the days of their youth.
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