English Standard Version
I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.
King James Bible
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
American Standard Version
I said in my heart, It is because of the sons of men, that God may prove them, and that they may see that they themselves are but as beasts.
I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, that God would prove them, and shew them to be like beasts.
English Revised Version
I said in mine heart, It is because of the sons of men, that God may prove them, and that they may see that they themselves are but as beasts.
Webster's Bible Translation
I said in my heart concerning the state of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Ecclesiastes 3:18 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
"Thus I then perceived that among them (men) there is nothing better than to enjoy themselves, and indulge themselves in their life." The resignation would acquire a reality if לע טוב meant "to do good," i.e., right (lxx, Targ., Syr., Jer., Venet.); and this appears of necessity to be its meaning according to Ecclesiastes 7:20. But, with right, Ginsburg remarks that nowhere else - neither at Ecclesiastes 2:24, nor Ecclesiastes 3:22; Ecclesiastes 5:17; Ecclesiastes 8:15; Ecclesiastes 9:7 - is this moral rendering given to the ultimatum; also טוב ור, 13a, presupposes for לע טוב a eudemonistic sense. On the other hand, Zckler is right in saying that for the meaning of עשות תוב, in the sense of "to be of good cheer" (Luth.), there is no example. Zirkel compares εὖ πράττειν, and regards it as a Graecism. But it either stands ellipt. for לע לו טוב ( equals להיטיב לו), or, with Grtz, we have to read טוב לראות; in any case, an ethical signification is here excluded by the nearest connection, as well as by the parallels; it is not contrary to the view of Koheleth, but this is not the place to express it. Bam is to be understood after baadam, Ecclesiastes 2:24. The plur., comprehending men, here, as at Ecclesiastes 3:11, wholly passes over into the individualizing sing.
But this enjoyment of life also, Koheleth continues, this advisedly the best portion in the limited and restrained condition of man, is placed beyond his control: -
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.