Ecclesiastes 2:20
New International Version
So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.

New Living Translation
So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.

English Standard Version
So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun,

Berean Study Bible
So my heart began to despair over all the labor that I had done under the sun.

King James Bible
Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

New King James Version
Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore I completely despaired over all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

NASB 1995
Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

NASB 1977
Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

Amplified Bible
So I turned aside and let my heart despair over all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

Christian Standard Bible
So I began to give myself over to despair concerning all my work that I had labored at under the sun.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So I began to give myself over to despair concerning all my work that I had labored at under the sun.

American Standard Version
Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor wherein I had labored under the sun.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And I turned to convince my heart about every labor that I labored under the sun

Brenton Septuagint Translation
so I went about to dismiss from my heart all my labour wherein I had laboured under the sun.

Contemporary English Version
I thought about all my hard work, and I felt depressed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Wherefore I left off and my heart renounced labouring any more under the sun.

English Revised Version
Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labour wherein I had laboured under the sun.

Good News Translation
So I came to regret that I had worked so hard.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then I fell into despair over everything for which I had worked so hard under the sun.

International Standard Version
So I came to be in despair about everything I had accomplished on earth.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labour wherein I had laboured under the sun.

Literal Standard Version
And I turned around to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor that I labored at under the sun.

NET Bible
So I began to despair about all the fruit of my labor for which I worked so hard on earth.

New Heart English Bible
Therefore I began to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor in which I had labored under the sun.

World English Bible
Therefore I began to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor in which I had labored under the sun.

Young's Literal Translation
And I turned round to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labour that I laboured at under the sun.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Futility of Work
19And who knows whether that man will be wise or foolish? Yet he will take over all the labor at which I have worked skillfully under the sun. This too is futile. 20So my heart began to despair over all the labor that I had done under the sun. 21When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and he must give his portion to a man who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great evil.…

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 2:19
And who knows whether that man will be wise or foolish? Yet he will take over all the labor at which I have worked skillfully under the sun. This too is futile.

Ecclesiastes 2:21
When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and he must give his portion to a man who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great evil.


Treasury of Scripture

Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labor which I took under the sun.

Genesis 43:14
And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

Job 17:11-15
My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart…

Psalm 39:6,7
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them…









(20) Went about.--Ecclesiastes 7:25; Ecclesiastes 9:14; Ecclesiastes 12:5.

Verse 20. - Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair; Ἐπέστρεψα ἐγὼ (Septuagint). "I turned" in order to examine more closely. So in ver. 12 we had, "I turned myself," though the verbs are not the same in the two passages, and in the former the LXX. has ἐπέβλεψα. I turned from my late course of action to give myself up to despair. I lost all hope in labor; it had no longer any charm or future for me. Septuagint, Τοῦ ἀποτάξασθαι τὴν καρδίαν μου ἐν παντὶ μόχθῳ μου κ.τ.λ.

Parallel Commentaries ...


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

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

began
וְסַבּ֥וֹתִֽי (wə·sab·bō·w·ṯî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 5437: To turn about, go around, surround

to despair
לְיַאֵ֣שׁ (lə·ya·’êš)
Preposition-l | Verb - Piel - Infinitive construct
Strong's 2976: To desist, to despond

over
עַ֚ל (‘al)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

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

the labor
הֶ֣עָמָ֔ל (he·‘ā·māl)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 5999: Toil, wearing effort, worry, wheth, of body, mind

that I had done
שֶׁעָמַ֖לְתִּי (še·‘ā·mal·tî)
Pronoun - relative | Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 5998: To toil, work severely and with irksomeness

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

the sun.
הַשָּֽׁמֶשׁ׃ (haš·šā·meš)
Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's 8121: The sun, the east, a ray, a notched battlement


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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 2:20 Therefore I began to cause my heart (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)
Ecclesiastes 2:19
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