Ecclesiastes 2:26
New International Version
To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

New Living Translation
God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

English Standard Version
For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Berean Study Bible
To the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He assigns the task of gathering and accumulating that which he will hand over to one who pleases God. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

King James Bible
For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

New King James Version
For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

New American Standard Bible
For to a person who is good in His sight, He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is futility and striving after wind.

NASB 1995
For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.

NASB 1977
For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.

Amplified Bible
For to the person who pleases Him God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who pleases God. This too is vanity and chasing after the wind.

Christian Standard Bible
For to the person who is pleasing in his sight, he gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God’s sight. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For to the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God's sight. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

American Standard Version
For to the man that pleaseth him God giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For to the man who is good before him he gives wisdom and knowledge and joy, and to sinners he gives the task to increase and to gather and to give what is good before LORD JEHOVAH, and this also is futility and agitation of spirit

Brenton Septuagint Translation
For God has given to the man who is good in his sight, wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but he has given to the sinner trouble, to add and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God; for this is also vanity and waywardness of spirit.

Contemporary English Version
If we please God, he will make us wise, understanding, and happy. But if we sin, God will make us struggle for a living, then he will give all we own to someone who pleases him. This makes no more sense than chasing the wind.

Douay-Rheims Bible
God hath given to a man that is good in his sight, wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he hath given vexation, and superfluous care, to heap up and to gather together, and to give it to him that hath pleased God: but this also is vanity, and a fruitless solicitude of the mind.

English Revised Version
For to the man that pleaseth him God giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Good News Translation
God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness to those who please him, but he makes sinners work, earning and saving, so that what they get can be given to those who please him. It is all useless. It is like chasing the wind.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to anyone who pleases him. But to the person who continues to sin, he gives the job of gathering and collecting [wealth]. The sinner must turn his wealth over to the person who pleases God. Even this is pointless. [It's like] trying to catch the wind.

International Standard Version
After all, to the person who is good in God's sight, he gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner he gives the troublesome task of acquiring and accumulating in order to leave it to someone who is good in the sight of God. This also is pointless and chasing after the wind.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For to the man that is good in His sight He giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner He giveth the task, to gather and to heap up, that he may leave to him that is good in the sight of God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Literal Standard Version
For to a man who [is] good before Him, He has given wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; and to a sinner He has given travail, to gather and to heap up, to give to the good before God. Even this [is] vanity and distress of spirit.

NET Bible
For to the one who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner, he gives the task of amassing wealth--only to give it to the one who pleases God. This task of the wicked is futile--like chasing the wind!

New Heart English Bible
For to the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

World English Bible
For to the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Young's Literal Translation
For to a man who is good before Him, He hath given wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; and to a sinner He hath given travail, to gather and to heap up, to give to the good before God. Even this is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Futility of Work
25For apart from Him, who can eat and who can find enjoyment? 26To the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He assigns the task of gathering and accumulating that which he will hand over to one who pleases God. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

Cross References
Job 27:16
Though he heaps up silver like dust and piles up a wardrobe like clay,

Job 27:17
what he lays up, the righteous will wear, and his silver will be divided by the innocent.

Job 32:8
But there is a spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.

Job 38:36
Who has put wisdom in the heart or given understanding to the mind?

Psalm 39:6
Surely every man goes about like a phantom; surely he bustles in vain; he heaps up riches not knowing who will haul them away.

Psalm 51:6
Surely You desire truth in the inmost being; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Proverbs 2:6
For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 13:22
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is passed to the righteous.

Ecclesiastes 1:13
And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid upon the sons of men to occupy them!

Ecclesiastes 1:14
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun, and have found them all to be futile, a pursuit of the wind.

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

Ecclesiastes 3:10
I have seen the burden that God has laid upon the sons of men to occupy them.


Treasury of Scripture

For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

in his sight

Genesis 7:1
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Luke 1:6
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

wisdom

2 Chronicles 31:20,21
And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God…

Proverbs 3:13-18
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding…

Isaiah 3:10,11
Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings…

to the sinner

Job 27:16,17
Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; …

Proverbs 13:22
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

Proverbs 28:8
He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.









(26) On the doctrine that the wicked amass wealth for the righteous, see marginal references.

Verse 26. - For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight. The subject "God" is not, in the Hebrew, an omission which is supposed to justify its virtual insertion in ver. 25. The Vulgate boldly supplies it here, Homini bone in conspectu sue dedit Deus. To the man that finds favor in God's sight (1 Samuel 29:6; Nehemiah 2:5), i.e. who pleases him, ha gives blessings, while he withholds them or takes them away from the man who displeases him. The blessings specified are wisdom, and knowledge, and joy. The only true wisdom which is not grief, the only true knowledge which is not sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:18), and the only joy in life, are the gifts of God to those whom he regards as good. But to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up. The sinner takes great pains, expends continuous labor, that he may amass wealth, but it passes into other. (more worthy) hands. Horace, 'Carm.,' 2:14. 25 - "Absumet heres Caecuba dignior Servata centum clavibus." The moral government of God is here recognized, as below, Ecclesiastes 3:15, 17, etc., and a further thought is added on the subject of retribution: That he may give to him that is good before God. This idea is found in Proverbs 28:8, "He that augmenteth his substance by usury and increase, gathereth it for him that hath pity upon the poor;" and Ecclesiastes 13:22, "The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the righteous" (comp. Job 27:16, 17). So in the parable of the talents, the talent of the unprofitable servant is given unto him who had made best use of his money (Matthew 25:28). This also is vanity. It is a question what is the reference here. Delitzsch considers it to be the striving after pleasure in and from labor (ver. 24); Knobel, the arbitrary distribution of the good things of this life; but, put thus baldly, this could hardly be termed a "feeding on wind;" nor could that expression be applied to the "gifts of God" to which Bullock confines the reference. Wright, Hengstenberg, Gratz, and others deem that what is meant is the collecting and heaping up of riches by the sinner, which has already been decided to be vanity (vers. 11, 17, 18); and this Would limit the general conclusion to a particular instance. Taking the view contained in ver. 24 as the central idea of the passage, we see that Koheleth feels that the restriction upon man's enjoyment of labor imposed by God's moral government makes that toil vain because its issue is not in men's hands, and it is a striving for or a feeding on wind because the result is unsatisfying and vanishes in the grasp.





Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
To
כִּ֤י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

the man
לְאָדָם֙ (lə·’ā·ḏām)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 120: Ruddy, a human being

who is pleasing
שֶׁטּ֣וֹב (šeṭ·ṭō·wḇ)
Pronoun - relative | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

in His sight,
לְפָנָ֔יו (lə·p̄ā·nāw)
Preposition-l | Noun - common plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 6440: The face

He gives
נָתַ֛ן (nā·ṯan)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5414: To give, put, set

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

and knowledge
וְדַ֖עַת (wə·ḏa·‘aṯ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 1847: Knowledge

and joy,
וְשִׂמְחָ֑ה (wə·śim·ḥāh)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 8057: Blithesomeness, glee

but to the sinner
וְלַחוֹטֶא֩ (wə·la·ḥō·w·ṭe)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l, Article | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 2398: To miss, to sin, to forfeit, lack, expiate, repent, lead astray, condemn

He assigns
נָתַ֨ן (nā·ṯan)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5414: To give, put, set

the task
עִנְיָ֜ן (‘in·yān)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6045: Ado, employment, an affair

of gathering
לֶאֱס֣וֹף (le·’ĕ·sō·wp̄)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 622: To gather for, any purpose, to receive, take away, remove

and accumulating [that which]
וְלִכְנ֗וֹס (wə·liḵ·nō·ws)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 3664: To collect, to enfold

he will hand over
לָתֵת֙ (lā·ṯêṯ)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 5414: To give, put, set

to one who pleases
לְטוֹב֙ (lə·ṭō·wḇ)
Preposition-l | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

God.
הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים (hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

This
זֶ֥ה (zeh)
Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's 2088: This, that

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

is futile
הֶ֖בֶל (he·ḇel)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 1892: Emptiness, vanity, transitory, unsatisfactory

and a pursuit
וּרְע֥וּת (ū·rə·‘ūṯ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 7469: A feeding upon, grasping after

of the wind.
רֽוּחַ׃ (rū·aḥ)
Noun - common singular
Strong's 7307: Wind, breath, exhalation, life, anger, unsubstantiality, a region of the sky, spirit


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