Ecclesiastes 2:12
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done?

King James Bible
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

Darby Bible Translation
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly; for what shall the man do that cometh after the king? that which hath already been done.

World English Bible
I turned myself to consider wisdom, madness, and folly: for what can the king's successor do? Just that which has been done long ago.

Young's Literal Translation
And I turned to see wisdom, and madness, and folly, but what is the man who cometh after the king? that which is already -- they have done it!

Ecclesiastes 2:12 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Solomon having found that wisdom and folly agree in being subject to vanity, now contrasts one with the other Ecclesiastes 2:13. Both are brought under vanity by events Ecclesiastes 2:14 which come on the wise man and the feel alike from without - death and oblivion Ecclesiastes 2:16, uncertainty Ecclesiastes 2:19, disappointment Ecclesiastes 2:21 - all happening by an external law beyond human control. Amidst this vanity, the good (see Ecclesiastes 2:10 note) that accrues to man, is the pleasure felt Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 in receiving God's gifts, and in working with and for them.

Ecclesiastes 2:12

What can the man do ... - i. e., "What is any man - in this study of wisdom and folly - after one like me, who, from my position, have had such special advantages (see Ecclesiastes 1:16, and compare Ecclesiastes 2:25) for carrying it on? That which man did of old he can but do again: he is not likely to add to the result of my researches, nor even to equal them." Some hold that the "man" is a reference to Solomon's successor - not in his inquiries, but in his kingdom, i. e., Jeroboam.

Ecclesiastes 2:12 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Chronology of the Life of Ephraim.
Thus the fixed points for determining the chronology of Ephraim's life are: 1. The death of his patron, St. Jacob, Bishop of Nisibis, in 338, after the first siege of that city. 2. The third siege, in which he was among the defenders of the city, in 350. 3. The surrender of Nisibis by Jovian, and its abandonment by its Christian inhabitants, 363; followed by Ephraim's removal to Edessa. 4. The consecration of Basil to the see of Cæsarea, late in 370, followed by Ephraim's visit to him there.
Ephraim the Syrian—Hymns and Homilies of Ephraim the Syrian

Whether the Church Observes a Suitable Rite in Baptizing?
Objection 1: It seems that the Church observes an unsuitable rite in baptizing. For as Chrysostom (Chromatius, in Matth. 3:15) says: "The waters of Baptism would never avail to purge the sins of them that believe, had they not been hallowed by the touch of our Lord's body." Now this took place at Christ's Baptism, which is commemorated in the Feast of the Epiphany. Therefore solemn Baptism should be celebrated at the Feast of the Epiphany rather than on the eves of Easter and Whitsunday. Objection
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Lii. Concerning Hypocrisy, Worldly Anxiety, Watchfulness, and his Approaching Passion.
(Galilee.) ^C Luke XII. 1-59. ^c 1 In the meantime [that is, while these things were occurring in the Pharisee's house], when the many thousands of the multitude were gathered together, insomuch that they trod one upon another [in their eagerness to get near enough to Jesus to see and hear] , he began to say unto his disciples first of all [that is, as the first or most appropriate lesson], Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. [This admonition is the key to the understanding
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Messiah's Easy Yoke
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. T hough the influence of education and example, may dispose us to acknowledge the Gospel to be a revelation from God; it can only be rightly understood, or duly prized, by those persons who feel themselves in the circumstances of distress, which it is designed to relieve. No Israelite would think of fleeing to a city of refuge (Joshua 20:2.
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:9
That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:10
Is there anything of which one might say, "See this, it is new "? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us.

Ecclesiastes 1:17
And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 3:15
That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.

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