Ecclesiastes 6:7
New International Version
Everyone's toil is for their mouth, yet their appetite is never satisfied.

New Living Translation
All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough.

English Standard Version
All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.

Berean Study Bible
All a man’s labor is for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied.

King James Bible
All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

New King James Version
All the labor of man is for his mouth, And yet the soul is not satisfied.

New American Standard Bible
All a person’s labor is for his mouth, and yet his appetite is not satisfied.

NASB 1995
All a man's labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied.

NASB 1977
All a man’s labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied.

Amplified Bible
All the labor of man is for his mouth [for self-preservation and enjoyment], and yet the desire [of his soul] is not satisfied.

Christian Standard Bible
All of a person’s labor is for his stomach, yet the appetite is never satisfied.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
All man's labor is for his stomach, yet the appetite is never satisfied.

American Standard Version
All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
All that a man labors goes into his mouth and his soul is not full

Brenton Septuagint Translation
All the labour of a man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite shall not be satisfied.

Contemporary English Version
We struggle just to have enough to eat, but we are never satisfied.

Douay-Rheims Bible
All the labour of man is for his mouth, but his soul shall not be filled.

English Revised Version
All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

Good News Translation
We do all our work just to get something to eat, but we never have enough.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Everything that people work so hard for goes into their mouths, but their appetite is never satisfied.

International Standard Version
Every person works for his own self-interests, but his desires remain unsatisfied.

JPS Tanakh 1917
All the labour of man is for his mouth, And yet the appetite is not filled.

Literal Standard Version
All the labor of man [is] for his mouth, "" And yet the soul is not filled.

NET Bible
All of man's labor is for nothing more than to fill his stomach--yet his appetite is never satisfied!

New Heart English Bible
All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

World English Bible
All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

Young's Literal Translation
All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not filled.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Futility of Life
6even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place? 7All a man’s labor is for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied. 8What advantage, then, has the wise man over the fool? What gain comes to the poor man who knows how to conduct himself before others?…

Cross References
Proverbs 16:26
A worker's appetite works for him because his hunger drives him onward.

Ecclesiastes 6:8
What advantage, then, has the wise man over the fool? What gain comes to the poor man who knows how to conduct himself before others?


Treasury of Scripture

All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

the labour

Genesis 3:17-19
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; …

Proverbs 16:26
He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

Matthew 6:25
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

appetite

Ecclesiastes 6:3
If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.

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

Luke 12:19
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.









Verses 7-9. - Section 10. Desire is insatiable; men are always striving after enjoyment, but they never gain their wish completely - which fortifies the old conclusion that man's happiness is not in his own power. Verse 7. - All the labor of man is for his mouth; i.e. for self-preservation and enjoyment, eating and drinking being taken as a type of the proper use of earthly blessings (comp; Ecclesiastes 2:24; Ecclesiastes 3:13, etc.; Psalm 128:2). The sentiment is general, and does not refer specially to the particular person described above, though it carries on the idea of the unsatisfactory result of wealth. Luther translates strangely and erroneously, "To every man is work allotted according to his measure. Such an idea is entirely foreign to the context. And yet the appetite is not filled. The word rendered "appetite" is nephesh, "soul," and Zockler contends that "' mouth 'and 'soul' stand in contrast to each other as representatives of the purely sensual and therefore transitory enjoyment (comp. Job 12:11; Proverbs 16:26) as compared with the deeper, more spiritual, and therefore more lasting kind of joy." But no such contrast is intended; the writer would never have uttered such a truism as that deep, spiritual joy is not to be obtained by sensual pleasure; and, as Delitzsch points out, in some passages (e.g., Proverbs 16:26; Isaiah 5:14; Isaiah 29:8) "mouth" in one sentence corresponds to "soul" in another. The soul is considered as the seat of the appetitive faculty - emotions, desires, etc. This is never satisfied (Ecclesiastes 1:8) with what it has, but is always craving for more. So Horace affirms that a man rightly obtains the appellation of king, "avidum domando spiritum," by subduing his spirit's cravings ('Carm.,' 2:2. 9).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
All
כָּל־ (kāl-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3605: The whole, all, any, every

a man’s
הָאָדָ֖ם (hā·’ā·ḏām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 120: Ruddy, a human being

labor
עֲמַ֥ל (‘ă·mal)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 5999: Toil, wearing effort, worry, wheth, of body, mind

[is] for his mouth,
לְפִ֑יהוּ (lə·p̄î·hū)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 6310: The mouth, edge, portion, side, according to

yet
וְגַם־ (wə·ḡam-)
Conjunctive waw | Conjunction
Strong's 1571: Assemblage, also, even, yea, though, both, and

his appetite
הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ (han·ne·p̄eš)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion

is never
לֹ֥א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

satisfied.
תִמָּלֵֽא׃ (ṯim·mā·lê)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's 4390: To fill, be full of


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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 6:7 All the labor of man (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)
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