New International Version
Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king's successor do than 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
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For what can the man do that cometh after the king? - I have examined every thing proposed by science, by maddening pleasure, and by more refined and regulated mirth. I seized on the whole, and used them to the uttermost; and so far, that none ever shall be able to exceed me; as none can, in the course of things, ever have such power and means of gratification.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
even that which hath already been done
LibraryOf Spiritual Aridity
Of Spiritual Aridity Though God hath no other desire than to impart Himself to the loving soul that seeks Him, yet He frequently conceals Himself that the soul may be roused from sloth, and impelled to seek Him with fidelity and love. But with what abundant goodness doth He recompense the faithfulness of His beloved? And how sweetly are these apparent withdrawings of Himself succeeded by the consoling caresses of love? At these seasons we are apt to believe, either that it proves our fidelity, and …
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer
Introduction to the "Theological" Orations.
James the Brother of the Lord.
"And These Things Write we unto You, that Your Joy May be Full. "
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
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.
Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.
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