Ecclesiastes 7:29
New International Version
This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes."

New Living Translation
But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path."

English Standard Version
See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.

Berean Study Bible
Only this have I found: I have discovered that God made men upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”

New American Standard Bible
"Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."

King James Bible
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

Christian Standard Bible
Only see this: I have discovered that God made people upright, but they pursued many schemes."

Contemporary English Version
I did learn one thing: We were completely honest when God created us, but now we have twisted minds.

Good News Translation
This is all that I have learned: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Only see this: I have discovered that God made people upright, but they pursued many schemes."

International Standard Version
I have discovered only this: God made human beings for righteousness, but they seek many alternatives."

NET Bible
This alone have I discovered: God made humankind upright, but they have sought many evil schemes.

New Heart English Bible
Look, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they search for many schemes.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I have found only this: God made people decent, but they looked for many ways [to avoid being decent]."

JPS Tanakh 1917
Behold, this only have I found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

New American Standard 1977
“Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Behold, this only have I found: that God has made man upright, but they have sought out many perversions.

King James 2000 Bible
Lo, this only have I found, that God has made man upright; but they have sought out many devices.

American King James Version
See, this only have I found, that God has made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

American Standard Version
Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
But, behold, this have I found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many devices.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Only this I have found, that God made man right, and he hath entangled himself with an infinity of questions. Who is as the wise man? and who hath known the resolution of the word?

Darby Bible Translation
Only see this which I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many devices.

English Revised Version
Behold, this only have I found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

Webster's Bible Translation
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

World English Bible
Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they search for many schemes."

Young's Literal Translation
See, this alone I have found, that God made man upright, and they -- they have sought out many devices.
Study Bible
The Limits of Human Wisdom
28While my soul was still searching but not finding, among a thousand I have found one upright man, but among all these I have not found a virtuous woman. 29Only this have I found: I have discovered that God made men upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”
Cross References
Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Ecclesiastes 8:1
Who is like the wise man? Who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man's wisdom brightens his face, and the sternness of his face is changed.

Treasury of Scripture

See, this only have I found, that God has made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

god

Genesis 1:26,27
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth…

Genesis 5:1
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

they

Genesis 3:6,7
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat…

Genesis 6:5,6,11,12
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…

Genesis 11:4-6
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth…







Lexicon
Only
לְבַד֙ (lə·ḇaḏ)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 905: Separation, a part of the body, branch of a, tree, bar for, carrying, chief of

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

have I found:
רְאֵה־ (rə·’êh-)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

I have discovered
מָצָ֔אתִי (mā·ṣā·ṯî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 4672: To come forth to, appear, exist, to attain, find, acquire, to occur, meet, be present

that
אֲשֶׁ֨ר (’ă·šer)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

God
הָאֱלֹהִ֛ים (hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

made
עָשָׂ֧ה (‘ā·śāh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make

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

upright,
יָשָׁ֑ר (yā·šār)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3477: Straight, right

but they
וְהֵ֥מָּה (wə·hêm·māh)
Conjunctive waw | Pronoun - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1992: They

have sought out
בִקְשׁ֖וּ (ḇiq·šū)
Verb - Piel - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 1245: To search out, to strive after

many
רַבִּֽים׃ (rab·bîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7227: Much, many, great

schemes.”
חִשְּׁבֹנ֥וֹת (ḥiš·šə·ḇō·nō·wṯ)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2810: A contrivance, actual, mental
Verse 29. - Lo, this only (or, only see! this) have I found. Universal corruption was that which met his wide investigations, but of one thing he was sure, which he proceeds to specify - he has learned to trace the degradation to its source, not in God's agency, but in man's perverse will. That God hath made man upright. Koheleth believes that man's original constitution was yasbar, "straight," "right," "morally good," and possessed of ability to choose and follow what was just and right (Genesis 1:26, etc.). Thus in the Book of Wisdom (2:23) we read, "God created man to be immortal, and made him an imago of his own nature (ἰιότητος). Nevertheless, through envy of the devil, came death into the world, and they that are his portion tempt it." But they (men) have sought out many inventions (chishshebonoth); 2 Chronicles 26:15, where the term implies works of invention, and is translated "engines," i.e. devices, ways of going astray and deviating from original righteousness. Man has thus abased his free-will, and employed the inventive faculty with which he was endowed in excoriating evil (Genesis 6:5). How this state of things came about, how the originally good man became thus wicked, the writer does not tell. He knows from revelation that God made him upright; he knows from experience that he is now evil; and he leaves the matter there. Plumptre quotes, as illustrating our text, a passage from the 'Antigone' of Sophocles, vers. 332, 365, 366, which he renders-

"Many the things that strange and wondrous are,
None stranger and mere wonderful than man....
And lo, with all this skill,
Wise and inventive still,
Beyond hope's dream,
He now to good inclines,
And now to ill."
We may add AEschylus, 'Choeph.,' vers. 585, etc. -

Πολλὰ μέν γᾶ τρέφει
δεινὰ δειμάτων ἄχη...
ἀλλ ὑπέρτολμον
ἀνδρὸς φόνημα τίς λέγοι;

"Many fearful plagues
Earth nourishes...
But man's audacious spirit
Who can tell?"
Horace, 'Carm.,' 1:3. 25 -

"Audax omnia perpeti
Gens humans ruit per vetitum nefas."

"The race of man, bold all things to endure,
Hurries undaunted to forbidden crime."
Vulgate, Et ipse se infinitis miscuerit quaestionibus, "And he entangled himself in multitudinous questions." This refers to unhallowed curiosity and speculation; but, as we have seen, the passage is concerned with man's moral declension, declaring how his "devices" lead him away from "uprightness."



7:23-29 Solomon, in his search into the nature and reason of things, had been miserably deluded. But he here speaks with godly sorrow. He alone who constantly aims to please God, can expect to escape; the careless sinner probably will fall to rise no more. He now discovered more than ever the evil of the great sin of which he had been guilty, the loving many strange women,
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