Ecclesiastes 8:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on earth--people getting no sleep day or night--

King James Bible
When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)

Darby Bible Translation
When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes),

World English Bible
When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on the earth (for also there is that neither day nor night sees sleep with his eyes),

Young's Literal Translation
When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that hath been done on the earth, (for there is also a spectator in whose eyes sleep is not by day and by night),

Ecclesiastes 8:16 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

When I applied mine heart to know wisdom - This is the reply of the wise man: "I have also considered these seeming contradictions. God governs the world; but we cannot see the reasons of his conduct, nor know why he does this, omits that, or permits a third thing. We may study night and day, and deprive ourselves of rest and sleep, but we shall never fathom the depths that are in the Divine government; but all is right and just. This is the state of probation; and in it neither can the wicked be punished, nor the righteous rewarded. But eternity is at hand; and then shall every man receive according to his works. He that spends his life in the eat, drink, and play, will find in that day that he has lost the time in which he could have prepared for eternity.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

when I

Ecclesiastes 8:7 For he knows not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?

Ecclesiastes 7:25 I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly...

there is that

Ecclesiastes 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yes, his heart takes not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

Ecclesiastes 4:8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yes, he has neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor...

Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Genesis 31:40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from my eyes.

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he gives his beloved sleep.

Library
Misused Respite
'Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil'--ECCLES. viii. 11. When the Pharaoh of the Exodus saw there was respite, he hardened his heart. Abject in his fear before Moses, he was ready to promise anything; insolent in his pride, he swallows down his promises as soon as fear is eased, his repentance and his retractation of it combined to add new weights about his neck. He was but a conspicuous example of
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Whether Christ Should have Been Circumcised?
Objection 1: It would seem that Christ should not have been circumcised. For on the advent of the reality, the figure ceases. But circumcision was prescribed to Abraham as a sign of the covenant concerning his posterity, as may be seen from Gn. 17. Now this covenant was fulfilled in Christ's birth. Therefore circumcision should have ceased at once. Objection 2: Further, "every action of Christ is a lesson to us" [*Innoc. III, Serm. xxii de Temp.]; wherefore it is written (Jn. 3:15): "I have given
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Ecclesiastes
It is not surprising that the book of Ecclesiastes had a struggle to maintain its place in the canon, and it was probably only its reputed Solomonic authorship and the last two verses of the book that permanently secured its position at the synod of Jamnia in 90 A.D. The Jewish scholars of the first century A.D. were struck by the manner in which it contradicted itself: e.g., "I praised the dead more than the living," iv. 2, "A living dog is better than a dead lion," ix. 4; but they were still more
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:13
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!

Ecclesiastes 1:14
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:23
All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

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