Ecclesiastes 2:26
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

King James Bible
For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Darby Bible Translation
For he giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he giveth travail to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good in God's sight. This also is vanity and pursuit of the wind.

World English Bible
For to the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Young's Literal Translation
For to a man who is good before Him, He hath given wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; and to a sinner He hath given travail, to gather and to heap up, to give to the good before God. Even this is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 2:26 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

For who can eat - more than I? - But instead of חוץ ממני chuts mimmenni, more than I; חוץ ממנו chuts mimmennu, without Him, is the reading of eight of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., as also of the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic.

"For who maye eat, drynke, or bring enythinge to pass without him?"

- Coverdale.

I believe this to be the true reading. No one can have a true relish of the comforts of life without the Divine blessing. This reading connects all the sentences: "This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God; - for who can eat, and who can relish without Him? For God giveth to man that is good." It is through his liberality that we have any thing to eat or drink; and it is only through his blessing that we can derive good from the use of what we possess.

Giveth - wisdom, and knowledge, and joy -

1. God gives wisdom - the knowledge of himself, light to direct in the way of salvation.

2. Knowledge - understanding to discern the operation of his hand; experimental acquaintance with himself, in the dispensing of his grace and the gifts of his Spirit.

3. Joy; a hundred days of ease for one day of pain; one thousand enjoyments for one privation; and to them that believe, peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

But to the sinner he giveth travail - He has a life of labor, disappointment, and distress; for because he is an enemy to God, he travails in pain all his days; and, as the wise man says elsewhere, the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just. So he loseth earthly good, because he would not take a heavenly portion with it.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

in his sight

Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said to Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark; for you have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

wisdom

2 Chronicles 31:20,21 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and worked that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God...

Proverbs 3:13-18 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding...

Isaiah 3:10,11 Say you to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings...

John 16:24 Till now have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Romans 14:17,18 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost...

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits...

to the sinner

Job 27:16,17 Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay...

Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

Proverbs 28:8 He that by usury and unjust gain increases his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

Library
Of 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.
"It has been said with truth," says the writer of the Article on Gregory of Nazianzus in the Dictionary of Christian Biography, "that these discourses would lose their chief charm in a translation....Critics have rivalled each other in the praises they have heaped upon them, but no praise is so high as that of the many Theologians who have found in them their own best thoughts. A Critic who cannot be accused of partiality towards Gregory has given in a few words perhaps the truest estimate of them:
St. Cyril of Jerusalem—Lectures of S. Cyril of Jerusalem

James the Brother of the Lord.
He pistis choris ergon nekra estin.--James 2:26 Sources. I. Genuine sources: Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; 1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 1:19; 2:9, 12. Comp. James "the brother of the Lord," Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Gal. 1:19. The Epistle of James. II. Post-apostolic: Josephus: Ant. XX. 9, 1.--Hegesippus in Euseb. Hist. Ecc. II. ch. 23.--Jerome: Catal. vir. ill. c. 2, under "Jacobus." Epiphanius, Haer. XXIX. 4; XXX. 16; LXXVIII. 13 sq. III. Apocryphal: Protevangelium Jacobi, ed. in Greek by Tischendorf, in "Evangelia
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

"And These Things Write we unto You, that Your Joy May be Full. "
1 John i. 4.--"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." All motions tend to rest and quietness. We see it daily in the motions below, and we believe it also of the circular revolutions of the heavens above, that there is a day coming in which they shall cease, as having performed all they were appointed for. And as it is in things natural, so it is in things rational in a more eminent way. Their desires, affections, and actions, which are the motions and stretches of the soul
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Job 27:16
Though he heaps up silver like dust and clothes like piles of clay,

Job 27:17
what he lays up the righteous will wear, and the innocent will divide his silver.

Job 32:8
But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.

Job 38:36
Who gives the ibis wisdom or gives the rooster understanding?

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 51:6
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Proverbs 2:6
For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

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