Ecclesiastes 1:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."

King James Bible
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

Darby Bible Translation
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities! all is vanity.

World English Bible
"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."

Young's Literal Translation
Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, Vanity of vanities: the whole is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 1:2 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Vanity of vanities - As the words are an exclamation, it would be better to translate, O vanity of vanities! Emptiness of emptinesses.

True, substantial good is not to be found in any thing liable to change and corruption.

The author referred to in the introduction begins his paraphrase thus: -

"O vain deluding world! whose largest gifts

Thine emptiness betray, like painted clouds,

Or watery bubbles: as the vapor flies,

Dispersed by lightest blast, so fleet thy joys,

And leave no trace behind. This serious truth

The royal preacher loud proclaims, convinced

By sad experience; with a sigh repeats

The mournful theme, that nothing here below

Can solid comfort yield: 'tis all a scene.

Of vanity, beyond the power of words

To express, or thought conceive. Let every man

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Ecclesiastes 2:11,15,17,19,21,23,26 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 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 4:4,8,16 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor...

Ecclesiastes 5:10 He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loves abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

Ecclesiastes 6:11 Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?

,

Ecclesiastes 11:8,10 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many...

Ecclesiastes 12:8 Vanity of vanities, said the preacher; all is vanity.

Psalm 39:5,6 Behold, you have made my days as an handbreadth; and my age is as nothing before you...

Psalm 62:9,10 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance...

Psalm 144:4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passes away.

Romans 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope,

Library
Two 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.
Our author was commonly known among the ancients as Eusebius of Cæsarea or Eusebius Pamphili. The former designation arose from the fact that he was bishop of the church in Cæsarea for many years; the latter from the fact that he was the intimate friend and devoted admirer of Pamphilus, a presbyter of Cæsarea and a martyr. Some such specific appellation was necessary to distinguish him from others of the same name. Smith and Wace's Dictionary of Christian Biography mentions 137
Eusebius Pamphilius—Church History

How to Make Use of Christ as the Truth, for Growth in Knowledge.
It is a commanded duty, that we grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. iii. 18; and the knowledge of him being life eternal, John xvii. 3, and our measure of knowledge of him here being but imperfect, for we know but in part, it cannot but be an useful duty, and a desirable thing, to be growing in this knowledge. This is to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, to be increasing in the knowledge of God, Col. i. 10. Knowledge must be added to virtue; and it layeth a ground for other Christian
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Joy
'The fruit of the Spirit is joy.' Gal 5:52. The third fruit of justification, adoption, and sanctification, is joy in the Holy Ghost. Joy is setting the soul upon the top of a pinnacle - it is the cream of the sincere milk of the word. Spiritual joy is a sweet and delightful passion, arising from the apprehension and feeling of some good, whereby the soul is supported under present troubles, and fenced against future fear. I. It is a delightful passion. It is contrary to sorrow, which is a perturbation
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Cross References
Romans 8:20
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope

Job 11:12
But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey's colt can be born human.

Psalm 39:5
You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.

Psalm 39:6
"Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.

Psalm 62:9
Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath.

Psalm 89:47
Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all humanity!

Psalm 144:4
They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.

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