Ecclesiastes 6:10
New International Version
Whatever exists has already been named, and what humanity is has been known; no one can contend with someone who is stronger.

New Living Translation
Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there's no use arguing with God about your destiny.

English Standard Version
Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he.

Berean Study Bible
Whatever exists was named long ago, and what happens to a man is foreknown; but he cannot contend with one stronger than he.

New American Standard Bible
Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is.

King James Bible
That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

Christian Standard Bible
Whatever exists was given its name long ago, and it is known what mankind is. But he is not able to contend with the one stronger than he.

Contemporary English Version
Everything that happens was decided long ago. We humans know what we are like, and we can't argue with God, because he is too strong for us.

Good News Translation
Everything that happens was already determined long ago, and we all know that you cannot argue with someone who is stronger than you.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Whatever exists was given its name long ago, and it is known what man is. But he is not able to contend with the One stronger than he.

International Standard Version
Whatever exists has been named already; people know what it means to be human— and a person cannot defeat one who is more powerful than he.

NET Bible
Whatever has happened was foreordained, and what happens to a person was also foreknown. It is useless for him to argue with God about his fate because God is more powerful than he is.

New Heart English Bible
Whatever has been, its name was given long ago; and it is known what man is; neither can he contend with him who is mightier than he.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Whatever has happened [in the past] already has a name. Mortals are already known for what they are. Mortals cannot argue with the one who is stronger than they.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Whatsoever cometh into being, the name thereof was given long ago, and it is foreknown what man is; neither can he contend with Him that is mightier than he.

New American Standard 1977
Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He that is has been named already; and it is known that he is man and that he shall not be able to contend with him that is mightier than he.

King James 2000 Bible
Whatever has been is named already, and it is known that this is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

American King James Version
That which has been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

American Standard Version
Whatsoever hath been, the name thereof was given long ago; and it is know what man is; neither can he contend with him that is mightier than he.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
If anything has been, its name has already been called: and it is known what man is; neither can he contend with him who is stronger than he.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that shall be, his name is already called: and it is known, that he is man, and cannot contend in judgment with him that is stronger than himself.

Darby Bible Translation
That which is hath already been named; and what man is, is known, and that he cannot contend with him that is mightier than he.

English Revised Version
Whatsoever hath been, the name thereof was given long ago, and it is known that it is man: neither can he contend with him that is mightier than he.

Webster's Bible Translation
That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

World English Bible
Whatever has been, its name was given long ago; and it is known what man is; neither can he contend with him who is mightier than he.

Young's Literal Translation
What is that which hath been? already is its name called, and it is known that it is man, and he is not able to contend with him who is stronger than he.
Study Bible
The Futility of Life
9Better what the eye can see than the wandering of desire. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. 10Whatever exists was named long ago, and what happens to a man is foreknown; but he cannot contend with one stronger than he. 11For the more words, the more futility—and how does that profit anyone?…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 10:22
Are we trying to provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

Job 9:32
For He is not a man like me, that I can answer Him, that we can take each other to court.

Job 40:2
"Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who argues with God give an answer."

Proverbs 21:30
No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel can prevail against the LORD.

Ecclesiastes 1:9
What has been is what will be, and what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 3:15
What exists has already been, and what will be has already been, for God will call to account what has passed.

Ecclesiastes 6:11
For the more words, the more futility--and how does that profit anyone?

Isaiah 45:9
Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker--one clay pot among many. Does the clay ask the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'?

Treasury of Scripture

That which has been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

which

Ecclesiastes 1:9-11
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun…

Ecclesiastes 3:15
That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

and it

Genesis 3:9,17-19
And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? …

Job 14:1-4
Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble…

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.

neither

Job 9:3,4,32
If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand…

Job 33:13
Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.

Job 40:2
Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.







Lexicon
Whatever
מַה־ (mah-)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

exists
שֶּֽׁהָיָ֗ה (še·hā·yāh)
Pronoun - relative | Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

was named
נִקְרָ֣א (niq·rā)
Verb - Nifal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7121: To call, proclaim, read

long ago,
כְּבָר֙ (kə·ḇār)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3528: Extent of time, a great while, long ago, formerly, hitherto

and what [happens]
אֲשֶׁר־ (’ă·šer-)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

to a man
אָדָ֑ם (’ā·ḏām)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 120: Ruddy, a human being

is foreknown;
וְנוֹדָ֖ע (wə·nō·w·ḏā‘)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Nifal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3045: To know

but he
ה֣וּא (hū)
Pronoun - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1931: He, self, the same, this, that, as, are

cannot
וְלֹא־ (wə·lō-)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

contend
לָדִ֔ין (lā·ḏîn)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 1777: A straight course, sail direct

with
עִ֥ם (‘im)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5973: With, equally with

one stronger
שֶׁתַּקִּ֖יף (šet·taq·qîp̄)
Pronoun - relative | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8630: To prevail over, overpower

than he.
מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃ (mim·men·nū)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4480: A part of, from, out of
(10) Of this difficult verse I prefer the translation, "What he is his name has been called long ago, and it is known that it is man; neither may he strive," &c--i.e., the name given long ago to man (Genesis 2:7) indicates his weakness; neither can he contend with the Almighty. There may be a reference to Genesis 6:3, where a kindred word is used.

Mightier.--The word here used is found only in the Chaldee books of the Bible and in later Hebrew.

Verses 10-12. - Section 11. All things are foreknown and foreordained by God; it is useless to murmur against or to discuss this great fact; and as the future is beyond our knowledge and control, it is wise to make the best of the present. Verse 10. - That which hath been is named already; better, whatsoever hath been, long ago hath its name been given. The word rendered "already," kebar (Ecclesiastes 1:10; Ecclesiastes 2:12; Ecclesiastes 3:15; Ecclesiastes 4:2), "long ago," though used elsewhere in this book of events in human history, may appropriately be applied to the Divine decrees which predetermine the circumstances of man's life. This is its significance in the present passage, which asserts that everything which happens has been known and fixed beforehand, and therefore that man cannot shape his own life. No attempt is here made to reconcile this doctrine with man's free-will and consequent responsibility. The idea has already been presented in Ecclesiastes 3:1, etc. It comes forth in Isaiah 45:9, "Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?" (comp. Romans 9:20); Acts 15:18 (according to the Textus Receptus), "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." The same idea is brought out more fully in the following clauses. Septuagint, "If anything ever was, already hath its name been called," which gives the correct sense of the passage. The Vulgate is not so happy, Qui futurus est, jam vocatum est nomen ejus, being rather opposed to the grammar. And it is known that it is man. What is meant by the Authorized Version is doubtful. If the first clause had been translated, as in the margin of the Revised Version, "Whatsoever he be, his name was given him long ago," the conclusion would come naturally, "and it is known that he is man" (Adam), and we should see an allusion to man's name and to the ground (adamah) from which he was taken (Genesis 2:7), as if his very name betokened his weakness. But the present version is very obscure. Cox gives, "It is very certain that even the greatest is but a man, and cannot contend with him," etc. But the Hebrew will not admit this rendering. The clause really amplifies the previous statement of man's predetermined destiny, and it should be rendered, "And it is known what a man shall be." Every individual comes under God's prescient superintendence. Septuagint, Ἐγνώσθη ὅ ἐστω ἄνθρωπος, "It is known what man is;" Vulgate, Et scitur quod homo sit. But it is not the nature of man that is in question, but his conditioned state. Neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he. The mightier One is God, in accordance with the passages quoted above from Isaiah, Acts, and Romans. Some consider that death is intended, and that the author is referring to the shortness of man's life. They say that the word taqqiph, "mighty" (which occurs only in Ezra and Daniel), is never used of God. But is it used of death? And is it not used of God in Daniel 4:3 (3:33, Hebrew), where Nebuchadnezzar says, "How mighty are his wonders"? To bring death into consideration is to introduce a new thought having no connection with the context, which is not speaking of the termination of man's life, but of its course, the circumstances of which are arranged by a higher Power. Septuagint, Καὶ οὐ δυνήσεται κριθῆναι μετὰ τοῦ ἰσχυροτέρου ὑπὲρ αὐτὸν. With this we may compare 1 Corinthians 10:22, "Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? (μὴ ἰσχυρότεροι αὐτοῦ ἐσμέν;)." 6:7-12 A little will serve to sustain us comfortably, and a great deal can do no more. The desires of the soul find nothing in the wealth of the world to give satisfaction. The poor man has comfort as well as the richest, and is under no real disadvantage. We cannot say, Better is the sight of the eyes than the resting of the soul in God; for it is better to live by faith in things to come, than to live by sense, which dwells only upon present things. Our lot is appointed. We have what pleases God, and let that please us. The greatest possessions and honours cannot set us above the common events of human life. Seeing that the things men pursue on earth increase vanities, what is man the better for his worldly devices? Our life upon earth is to be reckoned by days. It is fleeting and uncertain, and with little in it to be fond of, or to be depended on. Let us return to God, trust in his mercy through Jesus Christ, and submit to his will. Then soon shall we glide through this vexatious world, and find ourselves in that happy place, where there is fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore.
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