English Standard Version
All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
King James Bible
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
American Standard Version
All things are full of weariness; man cannot utter it : the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
All things are hard: man cannot explain them by word. The eye is not filled with seeing, neither is the ear filled with hearing.
English Revised Version
All things are full of weariness; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
Webster's Bible Translation
All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
Ecclesiastes 1:8 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The book begins artistically with an opening section of the nature of a preamble. The ground-tone of the whole book at once sounds in Ecclesiastes 1:2, which commences this section, "O vanity of vanities, saith Koheleth, O vanity of vanities! All is vain." As at Isaiah 40:1 (vid., l.c.) it is a question whether by "saith" is meant a future or a present utterance of God, so here and at Ecclesiastes 12:8 whether "saith" designates the expression of Koheleth as belonging to history or as presently given forth. The language admits both interpretations, as e.g., "saith," with God as the subject, 2 Samuel 23:3, is meant historically, and in Isaiah 49:5 of the present time. We understand "saith" here, as e.g., Isaiah 36:4, "Thus saith ... the king of Assyria," of something said now, not of something said previously, since it is those presently living to whom the Solomon redivivus, and through him the author of this book, preaches the vanity of all earthly things. The old translators take "vanity of vanities" in the nominative, as if it were the predicate; but the repetition of the expression shows that it is an exclamation equals O vanitatem vanitatum. The abbreviated connecting form of הבל is here not punctuated הבל, after the form חדר (חדר) and the like, but הבל, after the manner of the Aram. ground-form עבד; cf. Ewald, 32b. Jerome read differently: In Hebraeo pro vanitate vanitatum ABAL ABALIM scriptum est, quod exceptis lxx interpretibus omnes similiter transtulerunt ἀτμὸς ἀτμἰδων sive ἀτμῶν. Hěvěl primarily signifies a breath, and still bears this meaning in post-bibl. Heb., e.g., Schabbath 119b: "The world exists merely for the sake of the breath of school-children" (who are the hope of the future). Breath, as the contrast of that which is firm and enduring, is the figure of that which has no support, no continuance. Regarding the superlative expression, "Vanity of vanities," vid., the Sol 1:1. "Vanity of vanities" is the non plus ultra of vanity, - vanity in the highest degree. The double exclamation is followed by a statement which shows it to be the result of experience. "All is vain" - the whole (of the things, namely, which present themselves to us here below for our consideration and use) is vanity.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.
one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, "For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.
You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
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