New International Version
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!
King James Bible
There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
Darby Bible Translation
There is one [alone] and without a second; also he hath neither son nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour, neither is his eye satisfied with riches, and [he saith not], For whom then am I labouring, and depriving my soul of good? This also is vanity and a grievous occupation.
World English Bible
There is one who is alone, and he has neither son nor brother. There is no end to all of his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with wealth. "For whom then, do I labor, and deprive my soul of enjoyment?" This also is vanity. Yes, it is a miserable business.
Young's Literal Translation
There is one, and there is not a second; even son or brother he hath not, and there is no end to all his labour! His eye also is not satisfied with riches, and he saith not, 'For whom am I labouring and bereaving my soul of good?' This also is vanity, it is a sad travail.
Ecclesiastes 4:8 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
There is one alone, and there is not a second - Here covetousness and avarice are characterized. The man who is the center of his own existence; has neither wife, child, nor legal heir; and yet is as intent on getting money as if he had the largest family to provide for; nor does he only labor with intense application, but he even refuses himself the comforts of life out of his own gains! This is not only vanity, the excess of foolishness, but it is also sore travail.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryThe Order of Thought which Surrounded the Development of Jesus.
As the cooled earth no longer permits us to understand the phenomena of primitive creation, because the fire which penetrated it is extinct, so deliberate explanations have always appeared somewhat insufficient when applying our timid methods of induction to the revolutions of the creative epochs which have decided the fate of humanity. Jesus lived at one of those times when the game of public life is freely played, and when the stake of human activity is increased a hundredfold. Every great part, …
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus
The Upbringing of Jewish Children
Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes.
All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
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!
For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.
Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.
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