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Ecclesiastes 1:16

Futility of Secular Wisdom

1:16 I thought to myself, 1 

“I have become much wiser 2  than any of my predecessors who ruled 3  over Jerusalem; 4 

I 5  have acquired much wisdom and knowledge.” 6 

1 tn Heb “I spoke, I, with my heart.”

2 tn Heb “I, look, I have made great and increased wisdom.” The expression הִגְדַּלְתִּי וְהוֹסַפְתִּי (higdalti vÿhosafti) is a verbal hendiadys; it means that Qoheleth had become the wisest man in the history of Jerusalem.

3 tn The phrase “who ruled” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.

4 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

5 tn Heb “my heart” (לִבִּי, libbi). The term “heart” is a metonymy of part for the whole (“my heart” = myself).

6 tn Heb “My heart has seen much wisdom and knowledge.”

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