Ecclesiastes 4:8
New International Version
There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless-- a miserable business!

New Living Translation
This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.

English Standard Version
one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

Berean Study Bible
There is a man all alone, without even a son or brother. And though there is no end to his labor, his eyes are still not content with his wealth: “For whom do I toil and bereave my soul of enjoyment?” This too is futile—a miserable task.

New American Standard Bible
There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, "And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?" This too is vanity and it is a grievous task.

King James Bible
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.

Christian Standard Bible
There is a person without a companion, without even a son or brother, and though there is no end to all his struggles, his eyes are still not content with riches. "Who am I struggling for," he asks, "and depriving myself of good things?" This too is futile and a miserable task.

Contemporary English Version
For example, some people don't have friends or family. But they are never satisfied with what they own, and they never stop working to get more. They should ask themselves, "Why am I always working to have more? Who will get what I leave behind?" What a senseless and miserable life!

Good News Translation
Here is someone who lives alone. He has no son, no brother, yet he is always working, never satisfied with the wealth he has. For whom is he working so hard and denying himself any pleasure? This is useless, too--and a miserable way to live.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
There is a person without a companion, without even a son or brother, and though there is no end to all his struggles, his eyes are still not content with riches. "So who am I struggling for," he asks, "and depriving myself from good?" This too is futile and a miserable task.

International Standard Version
Consider someone who is alone, having neither son nor brother. There is no end to all of his work, and he is never satisfied with wealth. "So for whom do I work," he asks, "and deprive myself of pleasure?" This, too, is pointless and a terrible tragedy.

NET Bible
A man who is all alone with no companion, he has no children nor siblings; yet there is no end to all his toil, and he is never satisfied with riches. He laments, "For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is futile and a burdensome task!

New Heart English Bible
There is one who is alone, and he has neither son nor brother. There is no end to all of his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with wealth. For whom then, do I labor, and deprive my soul of enjoyment? This also is vanity, yes, it is a miserable business.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
There are people who are all alone. They have no children or other family members. So there is no end to all the hard work they have to do. Their eyes are never satisfied with riches. But [they never ask themselves] why they are working so hard and depriving themselves of good things. Even this is pointless and a terrible tragedy.

JPS Tanakh 1917
There is one that is alone, and he hath not a second; yea, he hath neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labour, neither is his eye satisfied with riches: 'for whom then do I labour, and bereave my soul of pleasure?' This also is vanity, yea, it is a grievous business.

New American Standard 1977
There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, “And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?” This too is vanity and it is a grievous task.

Jubilee Bible 2000
It is the man who is alone, without a successor, who has neither son 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 and sore travail.

King James 2000 Bible
There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he has neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither says he, For whom do I labor, and deprive my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a heavy travail.

American King James Version
There is one alone, and there is not a second; yes, he has neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither said he, For whom do I labor, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yes, it is a sore travail.

American Standard Version
There is one that is alone, and he hath not a second; yea, he hath neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches. For whom then,'saith he , do I labor, and deprive my soul of good? This also is vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he has neither son nor brother: yet there is no end to all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with wealth; and for whom do I labour, and deprive my soul of good? this is also vanity, and an evil trouble.

Douay-Rheims Bible
There is but one, and he hath not a second, no child, no brother, and yet he ceaseth not to labour, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches, neither doth he reflect, saying: For whom do I labour, and defraud my soul of good things? in this also is vanity, and a grievous vexation.

Darby Bible Translation
There is one [alone] and without a second; also he hath neither son nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour, neither is his eye satisfied with riches, and [he saith not], For whom then am I labouring, and depriving my soul of good? This also is vanity and a grievous occupation.

English Revised Version
There is one that is alone, and he hath not a second; yea, he hath neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labour, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches. For whom then, saith he, do I labour, and deprive my soul of good? This also is vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

Webster's Bible Translation
There is one alone, and there is not a second; yes, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labor, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yes, it is a grievous labor.

World English Bible
There is one who is alone, and he has neither son nor brother. There is no end to all of his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with wealth. "For whom then, do I labor, and deprive my soul of enjoyment?" This also is vanity. Yes, it is a miserable business.

Young's Literal Translation
There is one, and there is not a second; even son or brother he hath not, and there is no end to all his labour! His eye also is not satisfied with riches, and he saith not, 'For whom am I labouring and bereaving my soul of good?' This also is vanity, it is a sad travail.
Study Bible
The Evil of Oppression
7Again, I saw futility under the sun. 8There is a man all alone, without even a son or brother. And though there is no end to his labor, his eyes are still not content with his wealth: “For whom do I toil and bereave my soul of enjoyment?” This too is futile— a miserable task. 9Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.…
Cross References
Proverbs 27:20
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Ecclesiastes 1:8
All things are wearisome, more than one can describe; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing.

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 on the sons of men, to keep them occupied!

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.

Ecclesiastes 4:7
Again, I saw futility under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 4:9
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.

Ecclesiastes 5:10
He who loves money is never satisfied by money, and he who loves wealth is never satisfied by income. This too is futile.

Treasury of Scripture

There is one alone, and there is not a second; yes, he has neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither said he, For whom do I labor, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yes, it is a sore travail.

one

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour…

Genesis 2:18
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Isaiah 56:3-5
Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree…

he hath

Genesis 15:2,3
And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? …

no

Isaiah 5:8
Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!

is his

Ecclesiastes 1:8
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

Ecclesiastes 5:10
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

Proverbs 27:20
Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

for

Psalm 39:6
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.

Isaiah 44:19,20
And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? …

Luke 12:20
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

it is

Ecclesiastes 1:13
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Ecclesiastes 2:23
For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

Isaiah 55:2
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.







Lexicon
There is
יֵ֣שׁ (yêš)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3426: Being, substance, existence, is

a
אֶחָד֩ (’e·ḥāḏ)
Number - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 259: United, one, first

man all alone,
וְאֵ֨ין (wə·’ên)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

without
אֵֽין־ (’ên-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

even
גַּ֣ם (gam)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 1571: Assemblage, also, even, yea, though, both, and

a son
בֵּ֧ן (bên)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1121: A son

or brother.
וָאָ֣ח (wā·’āḥ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 251: A brother, )

And though there is no
וְאֵ֥ין (wə·’ên)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

end
קֵץ֙ (qêṣ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7093: An extremity, after

to 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

his eyes
עֵינ֖וֹ (‘ê·nōw)
Noun - common singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5869: An eye, a fountain

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

not
לֹא־ (lō-)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

content
תִשְׂבַּ֣ע (ṯiś·ba‘)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7646: To be sated, satisfied or surfeited

with his wealth:
עֹ֑שֶׁר (‘ō·šer)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6239: Wealth

“For whom
וּלְמִ֣י ׀ (ū·lə·mî)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4310: Who?, whoever, in oblique construction with prefix, suffix

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

toil
עָמֵ֗ל (‘ā·mêl)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6001: Toiling, a laborer, sorrowful

and bereave
וּמְחַסֵּ֤ר (ū·mə·ḥas·sêr)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2637: To lack, need, be lacking, decrease

my soul
נַפְשִׁי֙ (nap̄·šî)
Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion

of enjoyment?”
מִטּוֹבָ֔ה (miṭ·ṭō·w·ḇāh)
Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

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

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

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

a miserable
רָ֖ע (rā‘)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7451: Bad, evil

task.
וְעִנְיַ֥ן (wə·‘in·yan)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 6045: Ado, employment, an affair
Verse 8. - There is one alone, and there is not a second; or, without a second - a solitary being, without partner, relation, or friend. Here, he says, is another instance of man's inability to secure his own happiness. Wealth indeed, is supposed to make friends, such as they are; but miserliness and greed separate a man from his fellows, make him suspicious of every one, and drive him to live alone, churlish and unhappy. Yea, he hath neither child nor brother; no one to share his wealth, or for whom to save and amass riches. To apply these words to Solomon himself, who had brothers, and one son, if not more, is manifestly inappropriate. They may possibly refer to some circumstance in the writer's own life; but of that we know nothing. Yet is there no sad of all his labor. In spite of this isolation he plies his weary task, and ceases not to hoard. Neither is his eye satisfied with riches; so that he is content with what he has (comp. Ecclesiastes 2:10; Proverbs 27:20). The insatiable thirst for gold, the dropsy of the mind, is a commonplace theme in classical writers. Thus Horace, 'Caxm.,' 3:16. 17 -

"Crescentem sequitur cura pecuniam, Majorumque fames." And Juvenal, 'Sat.,' 14:138 -

"Interea pleno quum turget sacculus ore,
Crescit amor nummi, quantum ipsa pecunia crevit."
Neither, saith he, For whom do I labor, and bereave my soul of good? The original is more dramatic than the Authorized Version or the Vulgate, Nec recogitat, dicens, Cui laboro, etc.? The writer suddenly puts himself in the place of the friendless miser, and exclaims, "And for whom do I labor," etc.? We see something similar in ver. 15 and Ecclesiastes 2:15. Here we cannot find any definite allusion to the writer's own circumstances. The clause is merely a lively personification expressive of strong sympathy with the situation described (comp. Ecclesiastes 2:18). Good may mean either riches, in which case the denial to the soul refers to the enjoyment which wealth might afford, or happiness and comfort. The Septuagint has ἀγαθωσύνης, "goodness," "kindness " - which gives quite a different and not so suitable an idea. Sore travail; a sad business, a woeful employment. 4:7,8 Frequently, the more men have, the more they would have; and on this they are so intent, that they get no enjoyment from what they have. Selfishness is the cause of this evil. A selfish man cares for nobody; there is none to take care of but himself, yet he will scarcely allow necessary rest to himself, and the people he employs. He never thinks he has enough. He has enough for his calling, for his family, but he has not enough for his eyes. Many are so set upon the world, that in pursuit of it they bereave themselves, not only of the favour of God and eternal life, but of the pleasures of this life. The distant relations or strangers who inherit such a man's wealth, never thank him. Covetousness gathers strength by time and habit; men tottering on the brink of the grave, grow more grasping and griping. Alas, and how often do we see men professing to be followers of Him, who, though he was rich, for our sakes became poor, anxiously scraping money together and holding it fast, excusing themselves by common-place talking about the necessity of care, and the danger of extravagance!
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Alphabetical: a all alone am and asked brother business certain content dependent depriving end enjoyment eyes For grievous had having he his I Indeed is it labor laboring man meaningless miserable myself neither never no nor not of pleasure riches satisfied son task There This to toil toiling too vanity was wealth were whom why with without yet

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 4:8 There is one who is alone (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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