Ecclesiastes 6:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

King James Bible
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

American Standard Version
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Better it is to see what thou mayst desire, than to desire that which thou canst not know. But this also is vanity, and presumption of spirit.

English Revised Version
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Webster's Bible Translation
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 6:9 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"If a man begat an hundred, and lived many years, and the amount of the days of his years was great, and his soul satisfied not itself in good, and also he had no grave, then I:say: Better than he is the untimely birth." The accentuation of 3a is like that of 2a. The disjunctives follow the Athnach, as at 2 Kings 23:13, only that there Telisha Gedhola stands for Pazer. Hitzig finds difficulty with the clause לו ... וגם־, and regards it as a marginal gloss to 5a, taken up into the text at a wrong place. But just the unexpected form and the accidental nature, more than the inward necessity of this feature in the figure, leads us to conclude that the author here connects together historical facts, as conjecturally noted above, into one fanciful picture. מאה is obviously to be supplemented by (ובנות) בנים; the Targ. and Midrash make this man to be Cain, Ahab, Haman, and show at least in this that they extend down into the time of the Persian kingdom a spark of historical intelligence. שׁן רבּ interchanges with שׁן הר, Ecclesiastes 11:8, as at Nehemiah 11:30. In order to designate the long life emphatically, the author expresses the years particularly in days: "and if it is much which (Heiligst.: multum est quod) the days of his years amount to;" cf. ימי ויּהיוּ, in Genesis 5. With venaphsho there follows the reverse side of this long life with many children: (1) his soul satisfies not itself, i.e., has no self-satisfying enjoyment of the good (min, as at Psalm 104:13, etc.), i.e., of all the good things which he possesses, - in a word, he is not happy in his life; and (2) an honourable burial is not granted to him, but קב חם, Jeremiah 22:19, which is the contrary of a burial such as becomes a man (the body of Artaxerxes Ochus was thrown to the cats); whereupon Elster rightly remarks that in an honourable burial and an honourable remembrance, good fortune, albeit shaded with sadness, might be seen. But when now, to one so rich in children and so long-lived, neither enjoyment of his good fortune nor even this shaded glory of an honourable burial is allowed, the author cannot otherwise judge than that the untimely birth is better than he. In this section regarding the uncertainty of riches, we have already, Ecclesiastes 5:14, fallen on a reminiscence from the Book of Job; it is so much the more probable that here also Job 3:16 has an influence on the formation of the thought. נפל is the foetus which comes lifeless from the mother's womb.

Ecclesiastes 6:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

better

Ecclesiastes 2:24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor...

Ecclesiastes 3:12,13 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life...

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink...

wandering of the desire

Job 31:7 If my step has turned out of the way, and my heart walked after my eyes, and if any blot has stuck to my hands;

Proverbs 30:15,16 The horse leach has two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yes, four things say not...

Jeremiah 2:20 For of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bands; and you said, I will not transgress...

this

Ecclesiastes 6:2 A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires...

Ecclesiastes 1:2,14 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity...

Ecclesiastes 2:11,22,23 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold...

Ecclesiastes 4:4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor...

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:14
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 1:17
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.

Ecclesiastes 11:9
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

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