English Standard Version
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
King James Bible
Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.
American Standard Version
Better is a handful, with quietness, than two handfuls with labor and striving after wind.
Better is a handful with rest, than both hands full with labour, and vexation of mind.
English Revised Version
Better is an handful with quietness, than two handfuls with labour and striving after wind.
Webster's Bible Translation
Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with toil and vexation of spirit.
Ecclesiastes 4:6 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
"Thus I then saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his works, for that is his portion; for who can bring him to this, that he gains an insight into that which shall be after him?" Hengstenberg, who has decided against the interrog. signification of the twice-repeated ה in Ecclesiastes 3:21, now also explains אהריו ... בּמה, not: What shall become of him after it (his death)? but: What further shall be done after the state in which he now finds himself? Zckler, although rightly understanding both ה as well as אחריו (after him equals when he will be separated, or separates from this life, Ecclesiastes 7:14; Ecclesiastes 9:3; cf. Genesis 24:67), yet proceeds on that explanation of Hengstenberg's, and gives it the rendering: how things shall be on the earth after his departure. But (1) for this thought, as Ecclesiastes 6:12 shows, the author had a more suitable form of expression; (2) this thought, after the author has, Ecclesiastes 3:21, explained it as uncertain whether the spirit of a man in the act of death takes a different path from that of a beast, is altogether aside from the subject, and it is only an apologetic tendency not yet fully vanquished which here constrains him. The chain of thought is however this: How it will be with the spirit of a man when he dies, who knows? What will be after death is thus withdrawn from human knowledge. Thus it is best to enjoy the present, since we connect together (Ecclesiastes 2:24) labour and enjoyment mediated thereby. This joy of a man in his work - i.e., as Ecclesiastes 5:18 : which flows from his work as a fountain, and accompanies him in it (Ecclesiastes 8:15) - is his portion, i.e., the best which he has of life in this world. Instead of בּמה־שּׁ, the punctuation is בּמה, because שׁיהיה אחריו is a kindred idea; vid.' regarding מה under Ecclesiastes 2:22. And לראות בּ is sued, because it is not so much to be said of the living, that he cannot foresee how it shall be with him when he dies, as that he can gain no glimpse into that world because it is an object that has for him no fixity.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.
And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
Again, I saw vanity under the sun:
Jump to PreviousBetter Chasing Desire Fists Full Hand Handful Handfuls Hands Labor Pursuit Quietness Rest Spirit Striving Toil Travail Trouble Vexation Wind
Jump to NextBetter Chasing Desire Fists Full Hand Handful Handfuls Hands Labor Pursuit Quietness Rest Spirit Striving Toil Travail Trouble Vexation Wind
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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.