Ecclesiastes 2:24
New International Version
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,

New Living Translation
So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.

English Standard Version
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,

Berean Study Bible
Nothing is better for man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work. I have also seen that this is from the hand of God.

New American Standard Bible
There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.

King James Bible
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

Christian Standard Bible
There is nothing better for a person than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God's hand,

Contemporary English Version
The best thing we can do is to enjoy eating, drinking, and working. I believe these are God's gifts to us,

Good News Translation
The best thing we can do is eat and drink and enjoy what we have earned. And yet, I realized that even this comes from God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God's hand,

International Standard Version
The only worthwhile thing for a human being is to eat, drink, and enjoy life's goodness that he finds in what he accomplishes. This, I observed, is also from the hand of God himself,

NET Bible
There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in their work. I also perceived that this ability to find enjoyment comes from God.

New Heart English Bible
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
There is nothing better for people to do than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in their work. I saw that even this comes from the hand of God.

JPS Tanakh 1917
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy pleasure for his labour. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.

New American Standard 1977
There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen, that it is from the hand of God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. I also have seen that this is from the hand of God.

King James 2000 Bible
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

American King James Version
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

American Standard Version
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Is it not better to eat and drink, and to shew his soul good things of his labours? and this is from the hand of God.

Darby Bible Translation
There is nothing good for man, but that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

English Revised Version
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

World English Bible
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.

Young's Literal Translation
There is nothing good in a man who eateth, and hath drunk, and hath shewn his soul good in his labour. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.
Study Bible HEB ▾ 
The Futility of Work
23Indeed, all his days are filled with grief, and his task is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile. 24Nothing is better for man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work. I have also seen that this is from the hand of God. 25For apart from Him, who can eat and who can find enjoyment?…
Cross References
Luke 12:19
Then I will say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry!"'

1 Corinthians 15:32
If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for human motives, what did I gain? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

1 Timothy 6:17
Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be conceited and not to put their hope in the uncertainty of wealth, but in God, who richly provides all things for us to enjoy.

Ecclesiastes 2:3
My mind, all the while guiding me with wisdom, sought to cheer my body with wine and embrace folly, until I could see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

Ecclesiastes 2:25
For apart from Him, who can eat and who can find enjoyment?

Ecclesiastes 3:12
I know that there is nothing better for men than to rejoice and do good while they live,

Ecclesiastes 3:13
and also that every man should eat and drink and find satisfaction in all his labor--this is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:22
I have seen that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will come after him?

Ecclesiastes 5:18
Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of life that God has given him--for this is his lot.

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knows what is good for a man during the few days he passes through his fleeting life like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will come after him under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 8:15
So I commended the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be merry. For this joy will accompany him in his labor during the days of his life that God gives him under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 9:7
Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart, for God has already approved your works:

Isaiah 56:12
"Come, let me get the wine, let us imbibe the strong drink, and tomorrow will be like today, only far better!"

Treasury of Scripture

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

nothing

Ecclesiastes 3:12,13,22 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and …

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat …

Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the …

Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a …

Ecclesiastes 11:9,10 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you …

Deuteronomy 12:12,18 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you, and your sons, …

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, …

Acts 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did …

1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, …

make his soul enjoy good

Ecclesiastes 3:13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good …

Ecclesiastes 5:19 Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given …

Ecclesiastes 6:2 A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he …

Malachi 2:2 If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give …

Luke 12:19,20 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for …







Lexicon
Nothing
אֵֽין־ (’ên-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

[is] better
ט֤וֹב (ṭō·wḇ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

for man
בָּאָדָם֙ (bā·’ā·ḏām)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 120: Ruddy, a human being

than to eat
שֶׁיֹּאכַ֣ל (še·yō·ḵal)
Pronoun - relative | Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 398: To eat

and drink
וְשָׁתָ֔ה (wə·šā·ṯāh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8354: To imbibe

and
וְהֶרְאָ֧ה (wə·her·’āh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3318: To go, bring, out, direct and proxim

enjoy
רָאִ֣יתִי (rā·’î·ṯî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

his work.
בַּעֲמָל֑וֹ (ba·‘ă·mā·lōw)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5999: Toil, wearing effort, worry, wheth, of body, mind

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

have also
גַּם־ (gam-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 1571: Assemblage, also, even, yea, though, both, and

seen
הִֽיא׃ (hî)
Pronoun - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1931: He, self, the same, this, that, as, are

that
כִּ֛י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

this [is]
זֹה֙ (zōh)
Pronoun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2090: This, that

from the hand
מִיַּ֥ד (mî·yaḏ)
Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3027: A hand

of God.
הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים (hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative
(24) Nothing better.--"Not good" is the sense of the Hebrew as it stands, for it will be observed that the word "than" is in italics. But as this word might easily have dropped out by a transcriber's error, interpreters, taking in connection Ecclesiastes 3:12; Ecclesiastes 3:22; Ecclesiastes 5:18; Ecclesiastes 8:15, generally agree to modify the text so as to give it the meaning of our version, according to which the sense is: "Seeing the uncertainty of the future, the only good a man can get from his labour is that present pleasure which he can make it yield to himself; and whether he can even enjoy so much as this depends on God." If the text be not altered, the sense is: "It is not good for a man to eat, &c, seeing it depends on God whether or not that is possible."

Verse 24. - There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink. The Vulgate makes the sentence interrogative, which the Hebrew does not sanction, Nonne melius est comedere et bibere? Septuagint Οὐκ ἔστιν ἀγαθὸν ἀνθρώπῳ ο{ φάγεται καὶ ο{ πίεται, "There is naught good to a man to eat or drink;" St. Jerome and others insert misi, "except for a man to eat," etc. This and the Authorized Version, which are more or less approved by most critics, make the writer enunciate a kind of modified Epicureanism, quotations in confirmation of which will be found set forth by Plumptre. It is not pretended that the present Hebrew text admits this exposition, and critics have agreed to modify the original in order to express the sense which they give to the passage. As it stands, the sentence runs, "It is not good in (בָּ) man that he should eat," etc. This is supposed to clash with later statements; e.g. Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13; Ecclesiastes 8:15; and to condemn all bodily pleasure even in its simplest form. Hence commentators insert מ ("than") before שֶׁיּלֺאכַל, supposing that the initial mere has dropped out after the terminal of the preceding word, adam (comp. Ecclesiastes 3:22). This solution of a difficulty might be allowed were the Hebrew otherwise incapable of explanation without doing violence to the sentiments elsewhere expressed. But this is not the case. As Metals has seen, the great point lies in the preposition ב, and what is stated is that it does not depend on man, it is not in his power, he is not at liberty to eat and drink and enjoy himself simply at his own will; his power and ability proceed wholly from God. A higher authority than his decides the matter. The phrase, "to eat and drink," is merely a periphrasis for living in comfort, peace, and affluence. St. Gregory, who holds that here and in other places Koheleth seems to contradict himself, makes a remark which is of general application, "He who looks to the text, and does not acquaint himself with the sense of the Holy Word, is not so much furnishing himself with instruction as bewildering himself in uncertainty, in that the literal words sometimes contradict themselves; but whilst by their oppositeness they stand at variance with themselves, they direct the reader to a truth that is to be understood" ('Moral.,' 4:1). They who read Epicureanism into the text fall into the error here denounced. They take the expression, "eat and drink," in the narrowest sense of bodily pleasure, whereas it was by no means so confined in the mind of a Hebrew. To eat bread in the kingdom of God, to take a place at the heavenly banquet, represents the highest bliss of glorified man (Luke 14:15; Revelation 19:9, etc.). In a lower degree it signifies earthly prosperity, as in Jeremiah 22:15, "Did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice? then it was well with him." So in our passage we find only the humiliating truth that man in himself is powerless to make his life happy or his labors successful. There is no Epicurean-ism, even in a modified form, in the Hebrew text as it has come down to us. With other supposed traces of this philosophy we shall have to deal subsequently (see on Ecclesiastes 3:12; 6:2). And that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor; i.e. taste the enjoyment of his labor, get pleasure as the reward of all his exertions, or find it in the actual pursuit. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. This is the point - the power of enjoyment depends on the will of God. The next verse substantiates this assertion. 2:18-26 Our hearts are very loth to quit their expectations of great things from the creature; but Solomon came to this at length. The world is a vale of tears, even to those that have much of it. See what fools they are, who make themselves drudges to the world, which affords a man nothing better than subsistence for the body. And the utmost he can attain in this respect is to allow himself a sober, cheerful use thereof, according to his rank and condition. But we must enjoy good in our labour; we must use those things to make us diligent and cheerful in worldly business. And this is the gift of God. Riches are a blessing or a curse to a man, according as he has, or has not, a heart to make a good use of them. To those that are accepted of the Lord, he gives joy and satisfaction in the knowledge and love of him. But to the sinner he allots labour, sorrow, vanity, and vexation, in seeking a worldly portion, which yet afterwards comes into better hands. Let the sinner seriously consider his latter end. To seek a lasting portion in the love of Christ and the blessings it bestows, is the only way to true and satisfying enjoyment even of this present world.
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