Ecclesiastes 6:11
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man?

King James Bible
Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

American Standard Version
Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

Douay-Rheims Bible
There are many words that have much vanity in disputing.

English Revised Version
Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

Webster's Bible Translation
Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

Ecclesiastes 6:11 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The comparison of an untimely birth with such a man is in favour of the former: "For it cometh in nothingness and departeth in darkness; and with darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it hath not seen the sun, and hath not known: it is better with it than with that other." It has entered into existence, בּהבל, because it was a lifeless existence into which it entered when its independent life should have begun; and בּהשׁך, it departeth, for it is carried away in all quietness, without noise or ceremony, and "with darkness" its name is covered, for it receives no name and remains a nameless existence, and is forgotten as if it had never been. Not having entered into a living existence, it is also (gam) thus happy to have neither seen the sun nor known and named it, and thus it is spared the sight and the knowledge of all the vanities and evils, the deceptions and sorrows, that are under the sun. When we compare its fate with the long joyless life of that man, the conclusion is apparent: מ ... נחת, plus quietis est huic quam illi, which, with the generalization of the idea of rest (Job 3:13) in a wider sense, is equals melius est huic quam illi (זה ... זה, as at Ecclesiastes 3:19). The generalization of the idea proceeds yet further in the Mishn. נוח לו, e.g.: "It is better (נוח לו לאדם) for a man that he throw himself into a lime-kiln than that (ואל), etc." From this usage Symm. renders מ ... נחת as obj. to ידע לא, and translates: οὐδὲ ἐπειράθη διαφορᾶς ἑτέρου πράγματος πρὸς ἓτερον ; and Jerome: neque cognovit distantiam boni et mali, - a rendering which is to be rejected, because thus the point of the comparison in which it terminates is broken, for 5b draws the facit. It is true that this contains a thought to which it is not easy to reconcile oneself. For supposing that life were not in itself, as over against non-existence, a good, there is yet scarcely any life that is absolutely joyless; and a man who has become the father of an hundred children, has, as it appears, sought the enjoyment of life principally in sexual love, and then also has found it richly. But also, if we consider his life less as relating to sense: his children, though not all, yet partly, will have been a joy to him; and has a family life, so lengthened and rich in blessings, only thorns, and no roses at all? And, moreover, how can anything be said of the rest of an untimely birth, which has been without motion and without life, as of a rest excelling the termination of the life of him who has lived long, since rest without a subjective reflection, a rest not felt, certainly does not fall under the point of view of more or less, good or evil? The saying of the author on no side bears the probe of exact thinking. In the main he designs to say: Better, certainly, is no life than a joyless life, and, moreover, one ending dishonourably. And this is only a speciality of the general clause, Ecclesiastes 4:2., that death is better than life, and not being born is better than both. The author misunderstands the fact that the earthly life has its chief end beyond itself; and his false eudaemonism, failing to penetrate to the inward fountain of true happiness, which is independent of the outward lot, makes exaggerated and ungrateful demands on the earthly life.

Ecclesiastes 6:11 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Ecclesiastes 1:6-9,17,18 The wind goes toward the south, and turns about to the north; it whirls about continually...

Ecclesiastes 2:3-11 I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly...

Ecclesiastes 3:19 For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yes...

Ecclesiastes 4:1-4,8,16 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed...

Ecclesiastes 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear you God.

Psalm 73:6 Therefore pride compasses them about as a chain; violence covers them as a garment.

Hosea 12:1 Ephraim feeds on wind, and follows after the east wind: he daily increases lies and desolation...

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 2:15
Then I said in my heart, "What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?" And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 6:10
Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he.

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?

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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.
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