Ecclesiastes 7:23
New International Version
All this I tested by wisdom and I said, “I am determined to be wise"— but this was beyond me.

New Living Translation
I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” But it didn’t work.

English Standard Version
All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.

Berean Study Bible
All this I tested by wisdom, saying, “I resolve to be wise.” But it was beyond me.

King James Bible
All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

New King James Version
All this I have proved by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise”; But it was far from me.

New American Standard Bible
I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” but wisdom was far from me.

NASB 1995
I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.

NASB 1977
I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.

Amplified Bible
I have tested all this with wisdom. I said, “I will be wise [independently of God],” but true wisdom was far from me.

Christian Standard Bible
I have tested all this by wisdom. I resolved, “I will be wise,” but it was beyond me.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I have tested all this by wisdom. I resolved, “I will be wise,” but it was beyond me.

American Standard Version
All this have I proved in wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
All these things I tested by wisdom; I said: "I shall be wise," and this was far removed from me

Brenton Septuagint Translation
All these things have I proved in wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

Contemporary English Version
I told myself that I would be smart and try to understand all this, but it was too much for me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I have tried all things in wisdom. I have said: I will be wise: and it departed farther from me,

English Revised Version
All this have I proved in wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

Good News Translation
I used my wisdom to test all of this. I was determined to be wise, but it was beyond me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I used wisdom to test all of this. I said, "I want to be wise, but it is out of my reach."

International Standard Version
I used my wisdom to test all of this. I said, "I want to be wise," but it was beyond me.

JPS Tanakh 1917
All this have I tried by wisdom; I said: 'I will get wisdom'; but it was far from me.

Literal Standard Version
All this I have tried by wisdom; I have said, “I am wise,” and it [is] far from me.

NET Bible
I have examined all this by wisdom; I said, "I am determined to comprehend this"--but it was beyond my grasp.

New Heart English Bible
All this have I proved in wisdom. I said, "I will be wise;" but it was far from me.

World English Bible
All this have I proved in wisdom. I said, "I will be wise;" but it was far from me.

Young's Literal Translation
All this I have tried by wisdom; I have said, 'I am wise,' and it is far from me.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Limits of Human Wisdom
22For you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others. 23All this I tested by wisdom, saying, “I resolve to be wise.” But it was beyond me. 24What exists is out of reach and very deep. Who can fathom it?…

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom the work that God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 7:22
For you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.

Ecclesiastes 8:17
I saw every work of God, and that a man is unable to comprehend the work that is done under the sun. Despite his efforts to search it out, he cannot find its meaning; even if the wise man claims to know, he is unable to comprehend.


Treasury of Scripture

All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

I said

Genesis 3:5
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

1 Kings 3:11,12
And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; …

1 Kings 11:1-8
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; …









(23) The confession of failure to attain speculative knowledge gives energy to the preacher's next following enunciation of the practical lesson which he has learned from his experience.

Verses 23-29. - Section 4. Further in sight into essential wisdom was not obtain able; but Koheleth learned some other practical lessons, viz. that wickedness was folly and madness; that woman was the most evil thing in the world; that man had perverted his nature, which was made originally good. Verse 23. - All this have I proved by wisdom; i.e. wisdom was the means by which he arrived at the practical conclusions given above (vers. 1-22). Would wisdom solve deeper questions? And if so, could he ever hope to attain it? I said, I will be wise. This was his strong resolve. He desired to grow in wisdom, to use it in order to unfold mysteries and explain anomalies. Hitherto he had been content to watch the course of men's lives, and find by experience what was good and what was evil for them; now he craves for an insight into the secret laws that regulate those external circumstances: he wants a philosophy or theosophy. His desire is expressed by his imitator in the Book of Wisdom (9.), "O God of my fathers,... give me Wisdom, that sitteth by thy throne.... O send her out of thy holy heavens, and from the throne of thy glory, that being present she may labor with me." But it was far from me. It remained in the far distance, out of reach. Job's experience (28.) was his. Practical rules of life he might gain, and had mastered, but essential, absolute wisdom was beyond mortal grasp. Man's knowledge and capacity are limited.

Parallel Commentaries ...


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

this
זֹ֖ה (zōh)
Pronoun - feminine singular
Strong's 2090: This, that

I tested
נִסִּ֣יתִי (nis·sî·ṯî)
Verb - Piel - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 5254: To test, to attempt

by wisdom, [saying],
בַֽחָכְמָ֑ה (ḇa·ḥā·ḵə·māh)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 2451: Wisdom

“I resolve
אָמַ֣רְתִּי (’ā·mar·tî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

to be wise.”
אֶחְכָּ֔מָה (’eḥ·kā·māh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect Cohortative - first person common singular
Strong's 2449: To be wise

But it
וְהִ֖יא (wə·hî)
Conjunctive waw | Pronoun - third person feminine singular
Strong's 1931: He, self, the same, this, that, as, are

was beyond
רְחוֹקָ֥ה (rə·ḥō·w·qāh)
Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's 7350: Remote, of place, time, precious

me.
מִמֶּֽנִּי׃ (mim·men·nî)
Preposition | first person common singular
Strong's 4480: A part of, from, out of


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