Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 1:13

Context
NET ©

I decided 1  to carefully 2  and thoroughly examine 3  all that has been accomplished on earth. 4  I concluded: 5  God has given people 6  a burdensome task 7  that keeps them 8  occupied. 9 

NIV ©

I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men!

NASB ©

And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.

NLT ©

I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done in the world. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race.

MSG ©

I looked most carefully into everything, searched out all that is done on this earth. And let me tell you, there's not much to write home about. God hasn't made it easy for us.

BBE ©

And I gave my heart to searching out in wisdom all things which are done under heaven: it is a hard thing which God has put on the sons of men to do.

NRSV ©

applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with.

NKJV ©

And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised.


KJV
And I gave
<05414> (8804)
my heart
<03820>
to seek
<01875> (8800)
and search out
<08446> (8800)
by wisdom
<02451>
concerning all [things] that are done
<06213> (8738)
under heaven
<08064>_:
this sore
<07451>
travail
<06045>
hath God
<0430>
given
<05414> (8804)
to the sons
<01121>
of man
<0120>
to be exercised
<06031> (8800)
therewith. {to be...: or, to afflict them}
NASB ©
And I set
<05414>
my mind
<03820>
to seek
<01875>
and explore
<08446>
by wisdom
<02451>
concerning
<05921>
all
<03605>
that has been done
<06213>
under
<08478>
heaven
<08064>
. It is a grievous
<07451>
task
<06045>
which God
<0430>
has given
<05414>
to the sons
<01121>
of men
<0120>
to be afflicted
<06030>
with.
HEBREW
wb
<0>
twnel
<06031>
Mdah
<0120>
ynbl
<01121>
Myhla
<0430>
Ntn
<05414>
er
<07451>
Nyne
<06045>
awh
<01931>
Mymsh
<08064>
txt
<08478>
hven
<06213>
rsa
<0834>
lk
<03605>
le
<05921>
hmkxb
<02451>
rwtlw
<08446>
swrdl
<01875>
ybl
<03820>
ta
<0853>
yttnw (1:13)
<05414>
LXXM
kai
<2532
CONJ
edwka
<1325
V-AAI-1S
thn
<3588
T-ASF
kardian
<2588
N-ASF
mou
<1473
P-GS
tou
<3588
T-GSN
ekzhthsai
<1567
V-AAN
kai
<2532
CONJ
tou
<3588
T-GSN
kataskeqasyai {V-AMN} en
<1722
PREP
th
<3588
T-DSF
sofia
<4678
N-DSF
peri
<4012
PREP
pantwn
<3956
A-GPM
twn
<3588
T-GPM
ginomenwn
<1096
V-PMPGP
upo
<5259
PREP
ton
<3588
T-ASM
ouranon
<3772
N-ASM
oti
<3754
CONJ
perispasmon {N-ASM} ponhron
<4190
A-ASM
edwken
<1325
V-AAI-3S
o
<3588
T-NSM
yeov
<2316
N-NSM
toiv
<3588
T-DPM
uioiv
<5207
N-DPM
tou
<3588
T-GSM
anyrwpou
<444
N-GSM
tou
<3588
T-GSN
perispasyai
<4049
V-PMN
en
<1722
PREP
autw
<846
D-DSM
NET © [draft] ITL
I decided
<03820>
to carefully
<02451>
and thoroughly examine
<08446>
all
<03605>
that
<0834>
has been accomplished
<06213>
on earth
<08064>
. I concluded: God
<0430>
has given
<05414>
people
<0120>
a burdensome
<07451>
task
<06045>
that keeps them occupied
<06031>
.
NET ©

I decided 1  to carefully 2  and thoroughly examine 3  all that has been accomplished on earth. 4  I concluded: 5  God has given people 6  a burdensome task 7  that keeps them 8  occupied. 9 

NET © Notes

tn Heb “I gave my heart” or “I set my mind.” The term לִבִּי (libbi, “my heart”) is an example of synecdoche of part (heart) for the whole (myself). Qoheleth uses this figurative expression frequently in the book. On the other hand, in Hebrew mentality, the term “heart” is frequently associated with one’s thoughts and reasoning; thus, this might be a metonymy of association (heart = thoughts). The equivalent English idiom would be “I applied my mind.”

tn Heb “with wisdom,” that is, with careful reflection in light of principles observed by the sages.

tn Heb “to seek and to search out” (לִדְרוֹשׁ וְלָתוּר, lidrosh vÿlatur). This is an example of a verbal hendiadys (the use of two synonymous verbs to state a common idea in an emphatic manner). The terms are used because they are closely related synonyms; therefore, the similarities in meaning should be emphasized rather than the distinctions in meaning. The verb דָּרַשׁ (darash) means “to inquire about; to investigate; to search out; to study” (HALOT 233 s.v. דרשׁ; BDB 205 s.v. דָּרַשׁ). This verb is used literally of the physical activity of investigating a matter by examining the physical evidence and interviewing eye-witnesses (e.g., Judg 6:29; Deut 13:15; 17:4, 9; 19:18), and figuratively (hypocatastasis) of mentally investigating abstract concepts (e.g., Eccl 1:13; Isa 1:17; 16:5; Pss 111:2; 119:45). Similarly, the verb תּוּר (tur) means “to seek out, discover” (HALOT 1708 s.v. תּוּר 1.c; BDB 1064 תּוּר 2). The verb תּוּר is used literally of the physical action of exploring physical territory (Num 13:16-17; 14:6, 34-36; Job 39:8), and figuratively (hypocatastasis) of mentally exploring things (Eccl 1:13; 7:25; 9:1).

tn Heb “under heaven.”

sn Qoheleth states that he made a thorough investigation of everything that had been accomplished on earth. His position as king gave him access to records and contacts with people that would have been unavailable to others.

tn This phrase does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is added in the translation for clarity.

tn Heb “the sons of men/mankind.”

tn The phrase עִנְיַן רָע (’inyan ra’, “rotten business, grievous task”) is used only in Ecclesiastes (1:13; 2:23, 26; 3:10; 4:8; 5:2, 13; 8:16). It is parallel with הֶבֶל (hevel) “futile” in 4:8, and describes a “grave misfortune” in 5:13. The noun עִנְיַן (’inyan, “business”) refers to something that keeps a person occupied or busy: “business; affair; task; occupation” (HALOT 857 s.v. עִנְיָן; BDB 775 s.v. עִנְיָן). The related verb עָנַה (’anah) means “to be occupied, to be busy with” (with the preposition בְּ, bet), e.g., Eccl 1:13; 3:10; 5:19 (HALOT 854 s.v. III עָנָה; BDB 775 s.v. II עָנָה). The noun is from the Aramaic loanword עִנְיָנָא (’inyana’, “concern, care”). The verb is related to the Aramaic verb “to try hard,” the Arabic verb “to be busily occupied; to worry to be a matter of concern,” and the Old South Arabic root “to be troubled; to strive with” (HALOT 854 s.v. III עָנָה). The phrase עִנְיַן רָע is treated creatively by English translations: “sore travail” (KJV, ASV), “sad travail” (YLT), “painful occupation” (Douay), “sorry business” (NEB), “sorry task” (Moffatt), “thankless task” (NAB), “grievous task” (NASB), “trying task” (MLB), “unhappy business” (RSV, NRSV, NJPS), and “heavy burden” (NIV).

tn The syntax of this line in Hebrew is intentionally redundant, e.g. (literally), “It is a grievous task [or “unpleasant business”] that God has given to the sons of man to be occupied with it.” The referent of the third masculine singular suffix on לַעֲנוֹת בּוֹ (laanot bo, “to be occupied with it”) is עִנְיַן רָע (’inyan ra’, “a grievous task, a rotten business”).

tn Or “that keeps them occupied” or “that busies them.” The verb II עָנַה (’anah, “to be occupied with”) is related to the noun עִנְיַן (’inyan, “business, task, occupation”) which also occurs in this verse. The verb עָנַה means “to be occupied, to be busy with” (with the preposition בְּ, bet), e.g., Eccl 1:13; 3:10; 5:19 (HALOT 854 s.v. III עָנָה; BDB 775 s.v. עָנָה). The Hebrew verb is related to the Aramaic verb “to try hard,” the Arabic verb “to be busily occupied; to worry; to be a matter of concern,” and the Old South Arabic root “to be troubled; to strive with” (HALOT 854).



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