Ecclesiastes 5:12
New International Version
The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.

New Living Translation
People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep.

English Standard Version
Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.

Berean Study Bible
The sleep of the worker is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the rich man permits him no sleep.

King James Bible
The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

New King James Version
The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.

New American Standard Bible
The sleep of the laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich person does not allow him to sleep.

NASB 1995
The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep.

NASB 1977
The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much. But the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep.

Amplified Bible
The sleep of a working man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach (greed) of the rich [who hungers for even more] will not let him sleep.

Christian Standard Bible
The sleep of the worker is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the rich permits him no sleep.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The sleep of the worker is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the rich permits him no sleep.

American Standard Version
The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much; but the fulness of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
A laborer has sweet sleep, whether he eats little or much, and the fullness of the rich man does not allow him to sleep

Brenton Septuagint Translation
The sleep of a servant is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but to one who is satiated with wealth, there is none that suffers him to sleep.

Contemporary English Version
If you have to work hard for a living, you can rest well at night, even if you don't have much to eat. But if you are rich, you can't even sleep.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Sleep is sweet to a labouring man, whether he eat lttle or much: but the fulness of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

English Revised Version
The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the fulness of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Good News Translation
Workers may or may not have enough to eat, but at least they can get a good night's sleep. The rich, however, have so much that they stay awake worrying.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The sleep of working people is sweet, whether they eat a little or a lot. But the full stomachs that rich people have will not allow them to sleep.

International Standard Version
Sweet is the sleep of a working man, whether he eats a little or a lot, but the excess wealth of the rich will not allow him to rest.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Sweet is the sleep of a labouring man, whether he eat little or much; but the satiety of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Literal Standard Version
Sweet [is] the sleep of the laborer whether he eat little or much; and the sufficiency of the wealthy is not permitting him to sleep.

NET Bible
The sleep of the laborer is pleasant--whether he eats little or much--but the wealth of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

New Heart English Bible
The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

World English Bible
The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

Young's Literal Translation
Sweet is the sleep of the labourer whether he eat little or much; and the sufficiency of the wealthy is not suffering him to sleep.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Futility of Wealth
11When good things increase, so do those who consume them; what then is the profit to the owner, except to behold them with his eyes? 12The sleep of the worker is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the rich man permits him no sleep. 13There is a grievous evil I have seen under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner,…

Cross References
Psalm 127:2
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for bread to eat--for He gives sleep to His beloved.

Proverbs 3:24
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.


Treasury of Scripture

The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Psalm 4:8
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Psalm 127:2
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Proverbs 3:24
When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.









Verse 12. - Another inconvenience of great wealth - it robs a man of his sleep. The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much. The laborer is the husbandman, the tiller of the ground (Genesis 4:2). The Septuagint, with a different pointing, renders δούλου, "slave," which is less appropriate, the fact being generally true of free or bond man. Whether his fare be plentiful or scanty, the honest laborer earns and enjoys his night's rest. But the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. The allusion is not to the overloading of the stomach, which might occasion sleeplessness in the case of the poor equally with the rich man, but to the cares and anxieties which wealth brings. "Not a soft couch, nor a bedstead overlaid with silver, nor the quietness that exists throughout the house, nor any other circumstance of this nature, are so generally wont to make sleep sweet and pleasant, as that of laboring, and growing weary, and lying down with a disposition to sleep, and very greatly needing it .... Not so the rich. On the contrary, whilst lying on their beds, they are frequently without sleep through the whole night; and, though they devise many schemes, they do not obtain such pleasure" (St. Chrysostom, 'Hom. on Stat.,' 22). The contrast between the grateful sleep of the tired worker and the disturbed rest of the avaricious and moneyed and luxurious has formed a fruitful theme for poets. Thus Horace, 'Carm.,' 3:1.21 -

"Somnus agrestium
Lenis virorum non humiles domes
Fastidit umbrosamque ripam,
Non Zephyris agitata Tempe."

"Yet sleep turns never from the lowly shed
Of humbler-minded men, nor from the eaves
In Tempe's graceful vale is banished,
Where only Zephyrs stir the murmuring leaves."


(Stanley.) And the reverse, 'Sat.,' 1:1.76, sqq. -

"An vigilare metu exanimem, noctesque diesque
Formidare males fures, inccndia, serves,
Ne to compilent fugientes, hoc juvat?"
. . .

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
The sleep
שְׁנַ֣ת (šə·naṯ)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 8142: Sleep

of the worker
הָעֹבֵ֔ד (hā·‘ō·ḇêḏ)
Article | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 5647: To work, to serve, till, enslave

is sweet,
מְתוּקָה֙ (mə·ṯū·qāh)
Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's 4966: Sweet, sweetness

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

he eats
יֹאכֵ֑ל (yō·ḵêl)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 398: To eat

little
מְעַ֥ט (mə·‘aṭ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 4592: A little, fewness, a few

or
וְאִם־ (wə·’im-)
Conjunctive waw | Conjunction
Strong's 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

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

but the abundance
וְהַשָּׂבָע֙ (wə·haś·śā·ḇā‘)
Conjunctive waw, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 7647: Plenty, satiety

of the rich man
לֶֽעָשִׁ֔יר (le·‘ā·šîr)
Preposition-l, Article | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 6223: Rich

permits
מַנִּ֥יחַֽ (man·nî·aḥ)
Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 3240: Bestow, cast down, lay down, up, leave off, let alone remain, pacify, place,

him
ל֖וֹ (lōw)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew

no
אֵינֶ֛נּוּ (’ê·nen·nū)
Adverb | third person masculine singular
Strong's 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

sleep.
לִישֽׁוֹן׃ (lî·šō·wn)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 3462: To be slack, languid, sleep, to grow old, stale, inveterate


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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)
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