Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 2:1

Context
NET ©

I thought to myself, 1  “Come now, 2  I will try 3  self-indulgent pleasure 4  to see 5  if it is worthwhile.” 6  But I found 7  that it also is futile. 8 

NIV ©

I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless.

NASB ©

I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself." And behold, it too was futility.

NLT ©

I said to myself, "Come now, let’s give pleasure a try. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life." But I found that this, too, was meaningless.

MSG ©

I said to myself, "Let's go for it--experiment with pleasure, have a good time!" But there was nothing to it, nothing but smoke.

BBE ©

I said in my heart, I will give you joy for a test; so take your pleasure—but it was to no purpose.

NRSV ©

I said to myself, "Come now, I will make a test of pleasure; enjoy yourself." But again, this also was vanity.

NKJV ©

I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure"; but surely, this also was vanity.


KJV
I said
<0559> (8804)
in mine heart
<03820>_,
Go to now
<03212> (8798)_,
I will prove
<05254> (8762)
thee with mirth
<08057>_,
therefore enjoy
<07200> (8798)
pleasure
<02896>_:
and, behold, this also [is] vanity
<01892>_.
NASB ©
I said
<0559>
to myself
<03820>
, "Come
<01980>
now
<04994>
, I will test
<05254>
you with pleasure
<08057>
. So enjoy
<07200>
<2896> yourself." And behold
<02009>
, it too
<01571>
was futility
<01892>
.
HEBREW
lbh
<01892>
awh
<01931>
Mg
<01571>
hnhw
<02009>
bwjb
<02896>
harw
<07200>
hxmvb
<08057>
hkona
<05254>
an
<04994>
hkl
<01980>
yblb
<03820>
yna
<0589>
ytrma (2:1)
<0559>
LXXM
eipon {V-AAI-3P} egw
<1473
P-NS
en
<1722
PREP
kardia
<2588
N-DSF
mou
<1473
P-GS
deuro
<1204
ADV
dh
<1161
PRT
peirasw
<3985
V-FAI-1S
se
<4771
P-AS
en
<1722
PREP
eufrosunh
<2167
N-DSF
kai
<2532
CONJ
ide
<3708
V-AAD-2S
en
<1722
PREP
agayw
<18
A-DSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
idou
<2400
INJ
kai
<2532
CONJ
ge
<1065
PRT
touto
<3778
D-ASN
mataiothv
<3153
N-NSF
NET © [draft] ITL
I
<03820>
thought to
<0589>
myself
<01980>
, “Come
<04994>
now, I will try
<05254>
self-indulgent
<08057>
pleasure to
<07200>
see
<02009>
if it is
<02896>
worthwhile.” But I
<02009>
found that it
<01571>
also is
<01892>
NET ©

I thought to myself, 1  “Come now, 2  I will try 3  self-indulgent pleasure 4  to see 5  if it is worthwhile.” 6  But I found 7  that it also is futile. 8 

NET © Notes

tn Heb “I said, I, in my heart” (אָמַרְתִּי אֲנִי בְּלִבִּי, ’amartiani bÿlibbi). The term “heart” (לֵב, lev) is a synecdoche of part (“heart”) for the whole (the whole person), and thus means “I said to myself” (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 648).

tn The Hebrew verb לְכָה (lÿkhah, “Come!”) is a weakened imperative, used merely as an introductory word, e.g., Gen 19:32; 31:44; Judg 19:11; 1 Sam 9:9-10; 11:14; 2 Kgs 3:7; Ps 66:5; Song 7:12; Isa 1:18; 2:3; Mic 4:2 (HALOT 246 s.v. הָלַךְ 2; BDB 234 s.v. הָלַךְ I.5.f.2). Whenever לְכָה introduces an exhortation, it functions as an invitation to the audience to adopt a course of action that will be beneficial to the addressee or mutually beneficial to both the speaker and the addressee. Here, Qoheleth personifies his “heart” (לִבִּי, libbi) and addresses himself. The examination of self-indulgent pleasure is designed to be beneficial to Qoheleth.

tn Or “test.” The cohortative אֲנַסְּכָה (’anassÿkhah) emphasizes the resolve of the speaker. The term נָסַה (nasah, “to test”) means “to conduct a test,” that is, to conduct an experiment (Judg 6:39; Eccl 2:1; 7:23; Dan 1:12, 14; see HALOT 702 s.v. נסה 3; BDB 650 s.v. נָסָה 1). The verb נָסַה is often used as a synonym with בָּחַן (bakhan, “to examine”; BDB 103 s.v. בָּחַן and 650 s.v. נָסָה 1) and לָדַעַת (ladaat, “to ascertain”; Deut 8:2).

tn Heb “I will test you with pleasure.” The term שִׂמְחַה (simkhah, “pleasure”) has a two-fold range of meanings: (1) it can refer to the legitimate enjoyment of life that Qoheleth affirms is good (5:17; 8:15; 9:7; 11:8, 9) and that God gives to those who please him (2:26; 5:19); or (2) it can refer to foolish pleasure, self-indulgent, frivolous merrymaking (2:1, 2; 7:4). The parallelism in 2:2 between שִׂמְחַה and שְׂחוֹק (sÿkhoq, “laughter, frivolous merrymaking”), which always appears in the context of banqueting, drinking, and merrymaking, suggests that the pejorative sense is in view in this context.

sn The statement I will try self-indulgent pleasure is a figurative expression known as metonymy of association. As 2:1-3 makes clear, it is not so much Qoheleth who is put to the test with pleasure, but rather that pleasure is put to the test by Qoheleth.

tn Heb “See what is good!” The volitive sequence of the cohortative (אֲנַסְּכָה, ’anassÿkhah, “I will test you”) followed by vav + imperative (וּרְאֵה, urÿeh, “and see!”) denotes purpose/result: “I will test you…in order to see….” The verb רָאָה (raah, “to see”) has a broad range of meanings (e.g., in the Qal stem 16 categories are listed in HALOT 1157–1160 s.v.). In this context it means “to discover; to perceive; to discern; to understand” (HALOT 1159 s.v. ראה 13; BDB 907 s.v. רָאָה 5).

sn The phrase “to see what is good” (רָאָה, raah, “to see” + טוֹב, tov, “good”) is repeated twice in 2:1-3. This is the key phrase in this section of Ecclesiastes. Qoheleth sought to discover (רָאָה) whether merry-making offered any value (טוֹב) to mankind.

tn The particle וְהִנֵּה (vÿhinneh, literally “Behold!”) occurs after verbs of perception to introduce what was seen, understood or discovered (HALOT 252 s.v. הִנֵּה 8). It is used to make the narrative graphic and vivid, enabling the reader to enter into the surprise of the speaker (BDB 244 s.v. הִנֵּה c). This is an example of the heterosis of the deictic particle (“Behold!”) for a verb of perception (“I found”). See E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 510-34.

tn This use of הֶבֶל (hevel) denotes “futile, worthless, fruitless, pointless” (HALOT 237 s.v. I הֶבֶל 2; BDB 210–11 s.v. I הֶבֶל 2). It is a synonym to מְהוֹלָל (mÿholal, “folly”) in 2:2a and an antonym to טוֹב (tov, “worthwhile, beneficial”) in 2:1b and 2:3c.



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