Ecclesiastes 8:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one’s eyes see sleep,

King James Bible
When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)

American Standard Version
When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes),

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to understand the distraction that is upon earth: for there are some that day and night take no sleep with their eyes.

English Revised Version
When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)

Webster's Bible Translation
When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)

Ecclesiastes 8:16 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"And then I have seen the wicked buried, and they came to rest; but away from the holy place they had to depart, and were forgotten in the city, such as acted justly: also this is vain." The double particle בּכן signifies, in such a manner, or under such circumstances; with "I have seen" following, it may introduce an observation coming under that which precedes (בכן equals Mishnic בּכך), or, with the force of the Lat. inde, introduce a further observation of that ruler; this temporal signification "then" ( equals אז), according to which we have translated, it has in the Targ. (vid., Levy's W.B.).

(Note: Cf. וכן, 2 Chronicles 32:31; Ewald, 354a; Baer's Abodath Jisrael, pp. 384, 386.)

Apparently the observation has two different classes of men in view, and refers to their fate, contradicting, according to appearance, the rectitude of God. Opposite to the רשׁ ("the wicked") stand they who are described as וגו אשׁר: they who have practised what is rightly directed, what stands in a right relation (vid., regarding כּן, as noun, under Proverbs 11:19), have brought the morally right into practice, i.e., have acted with fidelity and honour (כּן עשׂה, as at 2 Kings 7:9). Koheleth has seen the wicked buried; ראה is followed by the particip. as predic. obj., as is שׁמע, Ecclesiastes 7:21; but קבוּרים is not followed by וּבאים (which, besides not being distinct enough as part. perfecti, would be, as at Nehemiah 13:22, part. praes.), but, according to the favourite transition of the particip. into the finite, Gesen. 134. 2, by ובאוּ, not וּבאוּ; for the disjunctive Reba has the fuller form with waa; cf. Isaiah 45:20 with Job 17:10, and above, at Ecclesiastes 2:23. "To enter in" is here, after Isaiah 47:2, equals to enter into peace, come to rest.

(Note: Cf. Zunz, Zur Gesch. u. Literatur, pp. 356-359.)

That what follows ומם does not relate to the wicked, has been mistaken by the lxx, Aquila, Symm., Theod., and Jerome, who translate by ἐπῃνήθησαν, laudabantur, and thus read ישתבחו (the Hithpa., Psalm 106:47, in the pass. sense), a word which is used in the Talm. and Midrash along with שתכחו.

(Note: The Midrash Tanchuma, Par. יתרו, init., uses both expressions; the Talm. Gittin 56b, applies the passage to Titus, who took away the furniture of the temple to magnify himself therewith in his city.)

The latter, testified to by the Targ. and Syr., is without doubt the correct reading: the structure of the antithetical parallel members is chiastic; the naming of the persons in 1a a precedes that which is declared, and in 1a b it follows it; cf. Psalm 70:5, Psalm 75:9. The fut. forms here gain, by the retrospective perfects going before, a past signification. מק קד, "the place of the holy," is equivalent to מקום קדושׁ, as also at Leviticus 7:6. Ewald understands by it the place of burial: "the upright were driven away (cast out) from the holy place of graves." Thus e.g., also Zckl., who renders: but wandered far from the place of the holy ... those who did righteously, i.e., they had to be buried in graves neither holy nor honourable. But this form of expression is not found among the many designations of a burial-place used by the Jews (vid., below, Ecclesiastes 12:5, and Hamburger's Real-Encykl. fr Bibel u. Talm., article "Grab"). God's-acre is called the "good place,"

(Note: Vid., Tendlau's Sprichw., No. 431.)

but not the "holy place." The "holy place," if not Jerusalem itself, which is called by Isaiah II (Isaiah 48:2), Neh., and Dan., 'ir haqqodesh (as now el-ḳuds), is the holy ground of the temple of God, the τόπος ἃγιος (Matthew 24:15), as Aquila and Symm. translate. If, now, we find min connected with the verb halak, it is to be presupposed that the min designates the point of departure, as also השׁלך מן, Isaiah 14:19. Thus not: to wander far from the holy place; nor as Hitz., who points יהלכוּ: they pass away (perish) far from the holy place. The subject is the being driven away from the holy place, but not as if יהלּ were causative, in the sense of יוליכוּ fo esne, and meant ejiciunt, with an indef. subj. (Ewald, Heiligst., Elst.), - it is also, Ecclesiastes 4:15; Ecclesiastes 11:9, only the intens. of Kal, - but יהלּ denotes, after Psalm 38:7; Job 30:28, cf. Job 24:10, the meditative, dull, slow walk of those who are compelled against their will to depart from the place which they love (Psalm 26:8; Psalm 84:2.). They must go forth (whither, is not said, but probably into a foreign country; cf. Amos 7:17), and only too soon are they forgotten in the city, viz., the holy city; a younger generation knows nothing more of them, and not even a gravestone brings them back to the memory of their people. Also this is a vanity, like the many others already registered - this, viz., that the wicked while living, and also in their death, possess the sacred native soil; while, on the contrary the upright are constrained to depart from it, and are soon forgotten. Divine rectitude is herein missed. Certainly it exists, and is also recognised, but it does not show itself always when we should expect it, nor so soon as appears to us to be salutary.

Ecclesiastes 8:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

when I

Ecclesiastes 8:7 For he knows not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?

Ecclesiastes 7:25 I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly...

there is that

Ecclesiastes 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yes, his heart takes not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

Ecclesiastes 4:8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yes, he has neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor...

Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Genesis 31:40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from my eyes.

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he gives his beloved sleep.

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:13
And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.

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

Ecclesiastes 2:23
For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

Jump to Previous
Applied Business Earth Eyes Heart Labor Mind Night Observe One's Sleep Task Wisdom
Jump to Next
Applied Business Earth Eyes Heart Labor Mind Night Observe One's Sleep Task Wisdom
Links
Ecclesiastes 8:16 NIV
Ecclesiastes 8:16 NLT
Ecclesiastes 8:16 ESV
Ecclesiastes 8:16 NASB
Ecclesiastes 8:16 KJV

Ecclesiastes 8:16 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 8:16 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 8:16 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 8:16 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 8:16 German Bible

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Ecclesiastes 8:15
Top of Page
Top of Page