New International Version
I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!
King James Bible
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
Darby Bible Translation
And I applied my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: this grievous occupation hath God given to the children of men to weary themselves therewith.
World English Bible
I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the sky. It is a heavy burden that God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
Young's Literal Translation
And I have given my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that hath been done under the heavens. It is a sad travail God hath given to the sons of man to be humbled by it.
Ecclesiastes 1:13 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
And I gave my heart to seek and search - While Solomon was faithful to his God he diligently cultivated his mind. His giving himself to the study of natural history, philosophy, poetry, etc., are sufficient proofs of it. He had not intuitive knowledge from God; but he had a capacity to obtain every kind of knowledge useful to man.
This sore travail - This is the way in which knowledge is to be acquired; and in order to investigate the operations of nature, the most laborious discussions and perplexing experiments must be instituted, and conducted to their proper results. It is God's determination that knowledge shall be acquired in no other way.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
to be exercised or to afflict them
LibraryTwo views of Life
'This sore travail hath God given to the sons of man, to be exercised therewith.--ECCLES. i. 13. 'He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.'--HEBREWS xii. 10. These two texts set before us human life as it looks to two observers. The former admits that God shapes it; but to him it seems sore travail, the expenditure of much trouble and efforts; the results of which seem to be nothing beyond profitless exercise. There is an immense activity and nothing to show for it at the end …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Eusebius' Birth and Training. His Life in Cæsarea Until the Outbreak of the Persecution.
How to Make Use of Christ as the Truth, for Growth in Knowledge.
Mortals put an end to the darkness; they search out the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness.
Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.
To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless-- a miserable business!
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