Ecclesiastes 8:14
New International Version
There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.

New Living Translation
And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless!

English Standard Version
There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

Berean Study Bible
There is a futility that is done on the earth: There are righteous men who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked men who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile.

New American Standard Bible
There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

King James Bible
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

Christian Standard Bible
There is a futility that is done on the earth: there are righteous people who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked people who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile.

Contemporary English Version
There is something else that doesn't make sense to me. Good citizens are treated as criminals, while criminals are honored as though they were good citizens.

Good News Translation
But this is nonsense. Look at what happens in the world: sometimes the righteous get the punishment of the wicked, and the wicked get the reward of the righteous. I say it is useless.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
There is a futility that is done on the earth: there are righteous people who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked people who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile.

International Standard Version
Here is a pointless thing that happens on earth: A righteous man receives what happens to the wicked, and a wicked man receives what happens to the righteous. I concluded that this, too, is pointless.

NET Bible
Here is another enigma that occurs on earth: Sometimes there are righteous people who get what the wicked deserve, and sometimes there are wicked people who get what the righteous deserve. I said, "This also is an enigma."

New Heart English Bible
There is a vanity which is done on the earth, that there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked. Again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
There is something being done on earth that is pointless. Righteous people suffer for what the wicked do, and wicked people get what the righteous deserve. I say that even this is pointless.

JPS Tanakh 1917
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth: that there are righteous men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous--I said that this also is vanity.

New American Standard 1977
There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

Jubilee Bible 2000
There is another vanity which is done upon the earth: that there are just men, who are recompensed as if they had done according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men, who are recompensed as if they had done according to the work of the righteous; I say that this also is vanity.

King James 2000 Bible
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there are just men, unto whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men, to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

American King James Version
There is a vanity which is done on the earth; that there be just men, to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

American Standard Version
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth, that there are righteous men unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there are righteous persons to whom it happens according to the doing of the ungodly; and there are ungodly men, to whom it happens according to the doing of the just: I said, This is also vanity.

Douay-Rheims Bible
There is also another vanity, which is done upon the earth. There are just men to whom evils happen, as though they had done the works of the wicked: and there are wicked men, who are as secure, as though they had the deeds of the just: but this also I judge most vain.

Darby Bible Translation
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there are righteous [men] unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; and there are wicked [men] to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

English Revised Version
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be righteous men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

Webster's Bible Translation
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there are just men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

World English Bible
There is a vanity which is done on the earth, that there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked. Again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

Young's Literal Translation
There is a vanity that hath been done upon the earth, that there are righteous ones unto whom it is coming according to the work of the wicked, and there are wicked ones unto whom it is coming according to the work of the righteous. I have said that this also is vanity.
Study Bible
God's Ways are Mysterious
14There is a futility that is done on the earth: There are righteous men who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked men who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile. 15So I commended the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be merry. For this joy will accompany him in his labor during the days of his life that God gives him under the sun.…
Cross References
Job 21:7
Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?

Psalm 73:3
For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Psalm 73:12
Behold, these are the wicked--always carefree as they increase their wealth.

Psalm 73:14
For I am afflicted all day long and punished every morning.

Ecclesiastes 7:15
In my futile life I have seen both of these: A righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

Jeremiah 12:1
Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead before You. Yet I wish to contend with You: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?

Malachi 3:15
So now we call the arrogant blessed. Not only do evildoers prosper, they even test God and escape.'"

Treasury of Scripture

There is a vanity which is done on the earth; that there be just men, to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

a vanity

Ecclesiastes 4:4,8
Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit…

Ecclesiastes 9:3
This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Ecclesiastes 10:5
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:

there shall be just

Ecclesiastes 2:14
The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

Ecclesiastes 7:15
All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 9:1-3
For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them…







Lexicon
There is
יֶשׁ־ (yeš-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3426: Being, substance, existence, is

a futility
הֶבֶל֮ (he·ḇel)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1892: Emptiness, vanity, transitory, unsatisfactory

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

is done
נַעֲשָׂ֣ה (na·‘ă·śāh)
Verb - Nifal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make

on
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

the earth:
הָאָרֶץ֒ (hā·’ā·reṣ)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 776: Earth, land

There are
יֵ֣שׁ (yêš)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3426: Being, substance, existence, is

righteous [men]
צַדִּיקִ֗ים (ṣad·dî·qîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6662: Just, righteous

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

get
מַגִּ֤יעַ (mag·gî·a‘)
Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5060: To touch, lay the hand upon, to reach, violently, to strike

what the actions
כְּמַעֲשֵׂ֣ה (kə·ma·‘ă·śêh)
Preposition-k | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4639: An action, a transaction, activity, a product, property

of the wicked [deserve],
הָרְשָׁעִ֔ים (hā·rə·šā·‘îm)
Article | Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7563: Wrong, an, bad person

and there are
וְיֵ֣שׁ (wə·yêš)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3426: Being, substance, existence, is

wicked [men]
רְשָׁעִ֔ים (rə·šā·‘îm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7563: Wrong, an, bad person

who
אֲלֵהֶ֖ם (’ă·lê·hem)
Preposition | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

get
שֶׁמַּגִּ֥יעַ (šem·mag·gî·a‘)
Pronoun - relative | Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5060: To touch, lay the hand upon, to reach, violently, to strike

what the actions
כְּמַעֲשֵׂ֣ה (kə·ma·‘ă·śêh)
Preposition-k | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4639: An action, a transaction, activity, a product, property

of the righteous deserve.
הַצַּדִּיקִ֑ים (haṣ·ṣad·dî·qîm)
Article | Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6662: Just, righteous

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

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

too
שֶׁגַּם־ (šeg·gam-)
Pronoun - relative | Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 1571: Assemblage, also, even, yea, though, both, and

is futile.
הָֽבֶל׃ (hā·ḇel)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1892: Emptiness, vanity, transitory, unsatisfactory
(14) Happeneth.--The word is used in this sense only in Esther 9:26.

Verse 14. - There is a vanity which is done upon the earth. The vanity is named in what follows, viz. the seeming injustice it, the distribution of good and evil. There be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked (comp. ver. 10; Ecclesiastes 3:16). The melancholy fact is noted that the righteous often experience that fate with which the wicked are threatened, which their conduct might be expected to bring upon them. The verb translated "happeneth" (nags), with el, "to come to," "strike against," is thus used only in later Hebrew, e.g., Esther 9:26. According to the work of the righteous. The wicked meet with that outward prosperity and success which were thought to be the special reward of those who served God. The Vulgate is explanatory, "There are just men whom evils befall as if they did the works of the wicked; and there are wicked men who are as free from care as if they had the deeds of the just." Commenting on Job 34:10, 11, St. Gregory writes, "It is by no means always the case in this life that God renders to each man according to his work and according to his own ways. For both many who commit unlawful and wicked deeds he prevents of his free grace, and converts to works of holiness; and some who are devoted to good deeds he reproves by means of the scourge, and so afflicts those who please him, as though they were displeasing to him.... God doubtless so ordains it of his inestimable mercy, that both scourges should torture the just, lest their doings should elate them, and that the unjust should pass this life at least without punishment, because by their evil doings they are hastening onwards to those torments which are without end. For that the just are sometimes scourged in no way according to their deserts is shown by this history of Job. Elihu, therefore, would speak more truly if he had said that there is not unmercifulness and iniquity in God, even when he seems not to render to men according to their ways. For even that which we do not understand is brought forth from the righteous balance of secret judgment" ('Moral.,' 24:44). Koheleth ends by repeating his melancholy refrain, I said that this also (indeed) is vanity. This conclusion, however, does not lead to despair or infidelity. 8:14-17 Faith alone can establish the heart in this mixed scene, where the righteous often suffer, and the wicked prosper. Solomon commended joy, and holy security of mind, arising from confidence in God, because a man has no better thing under the sun, though a good man has much better things above the sun, than soberly and thankfully to use the things of this life according to his rank. He would not have us try to give a reason for what God does. But, leaving the Lord to clear up all difficulties in his own time, we may cheerfully enjoy the comforts, and bear up under the trials of life; while peace of conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost will abide in us through all outward changes, and when flesh and heart shall fail.
Jump to Previous
Deeds Deserve Earth Evil Good Hand Happeneth Happens Meaningless Punishment Purpose Righteous Something Vanity Wicked Work
Jump to Next
Deeds Deserve Earth Evil Good Hand Happeneth Happens Meaningless Punishment Purpose Righteous Something Vanity Wicked Work
Links
Ecclesiastes 8:14 NIV
Ecclesiastes 8:14 NLT
Ecclesiastes 8:14 ESV
Ecclesiastes 8:14 NASB
Ecclesiastes 8:14 KJV

Ecclesiastes 8:14 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 8:14 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 8:14 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 8:14 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 8:14 German Bible

Alphabetical: according and are deeds deserve done earth else evil futility get hand happens I is it meaningless men occurs of on other righteous say something that the There This to too what which who whom wicked

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 8:14 There is a vanity which is done (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Ecclesiastes 8:13
Top of Page
Top of Page