Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 2:15

Context
NET ©

So I thought to myself, “The fate of the fool will happen even to me! 1  Then what did I gain by becoming so excessively 2  wise?” 3  So I lamented to myself, 4  “The benefits of wisdom 5  are ultimately 6  meaningless!”

NIV ©

Then I thought in my heart, "The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?" I said in my heart, "This too is meaningless."

NASB ©

Then I said to myself, "As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?" So I said to myself, "This too is vanity."

NLT ©

Both of them die. Just as the fool will die, so will I. So of what value is all my wisdom? Then I said to myself, "This is all so meaningless!"

MSG ©

When I realized that my fate's the same as the fool's, I had to ask myself, "So why bother being wise?" It's all smoke, nothing but smoke.

BBE ©

Then said I in my heart: As it comes to the foolish man, so will it come to me; so why have I been wise overmuch? Then I said in my heart: This again is to no purpose.

NRSV ©

Then I said to myself, "What happens to the fool will happen to me also; why then have I been so very wise?" And I said to myself that this also is vanity.

NKJV ©

So I said in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart, "This also is vanity."


KJV
Then
<0227>
said
<0559> (8804)
I in my heart
<03820>_,
As it happeneth
<04745>
to the fool
<03684>_,
so it happeneth
<07136> (8799)
even to me
<01571>_;
and why was I then more
<03148>
wise
<02449> (8804)_?
Then I said
<01696> (8765)
in my heart
<03820>_,
that this also [is] vanity
<01892>_.
{happeneth even...: Heb. happeneth to me, even to me}
NASB ©
Then I said
<0559>
to myself
<03820>
, "As is the fate
<04745>
of the fool
<03684>
, it will also
<01571>
befall
<07136>
me. Why
<04100>
then
<0227>
have I been
<02449>
extremely
<03148>
wise
<02449>
?" So I said
<01696>
to myself
<03820>
, "This
<02088>
too
<01571>
is vanity
<01892>
."
HEBREW
lbh
<01892>
hz
<02088>
Mgs
<01571>
yblb
<03820>
ytrbdw
<01696>
rtwy
<03148>
za
<0227>
yna
<0589>
ytmkx
<02449>
hmlw
<04100>
ynrqy
<07136>
yna
<0589>
Mg
<01571>
lyokh
<03684>
hrqmk
<04745>
yblb
<03820>
yna
<0589>
ytrmaw (2:15)
<0559>
LXXM
kai
<2532
CONJ
eipa {V-AAI-1S} egw
<1473
P-NS
en
<1722
PREP
kardia
<2588
N-DSF
mou
<1473
P-GS
wv
<3739
CONJ
sunanthma {N-NSN} tou
<3588
T-GSM
afronov
<878
A-GSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
ge
<1065
PRT
emoi
<1473
P-DS
sunanthsetai
<4876
V-FMI-3S
moi
<1473
P-DS
kai
<2532
CONJ
ina
<2443
CONJ
ti
<5100
I-ASN
esofisamhn
<4679
V-AMI-1S
egw
<1473
P-NS
tote
<5119
ADV
perisson
<4053
A-ASN
elalhsa
<2980
V-AAI-1S
en
<1722
PREP
kardia
<2588
N-DSF
mou
<1473
P-GS
dioti
<1360
CONJ
afrwn
<878
A-NSM
ek
<1537
PREP
perisseumatov
<4051
N-GSN
lalei
<2980
V-PAI-3S
oti
<3754
CONJ
kai
<2532
CONJ
ge
<1065
PRT
touto
<3778
D-ASN
mataiothv
<3153
N-NSF
NET © [draft] ITL
So I thought
<03820>
to myself
<0589>
, “The fate
<04745>
of the fool
<03684>
will happen
<07136>
even
<01571>
to me! Then what
<04100>
did I
<0589>
gain by becoming
<07136>
so excessively wise
<02449>
?” So I
<0589>
lamented to myself, “The benefits
<03148>
of wisdom
<03820>
are ultimately meaningless
<01892>
!”
NET ©

So I thought to myself, “The fate of the fool will happen even to me! 1  Then what did I gain by becoming so excessively 2  wise?” 3  So I lamented to myself, 4  “The benefits of wisdom 5  are ultimately 6  meaningless!”

NET © Notes

tn The emphatic use of the 1st person common singular personal pronoun אֲנִי (’ani, “me”) with the emphatic particle of association גַּם (gam, “even, as well as”; HALOT 195–96 s.v. גַּם) appears to emphasize the 1st person common singular suffix on יִקְרֵנִי (yiqreni) “it will befall [or “happen to”] me” (Qal imperfect 3rd person masculine singular + 1st person common singular suffix from קָרָה, qarah, “to befall; to happen to”); see GKC 438 §135.e. Qoheleth laments not that the fate of the wise man is the same as that of the fool, but that even he himself – the wisest man of all – would fare no better in the end than the most foolish.

tn The adjective יוֹתֵר (yoter) means “too much; excessive,” e.g., 7:16 “excessively righteous” (HALOT 404 s.v. יוֹתֵר 2; BDB 452 s.v. יוֹתֵר). It is derived from the root יֶתֶר (yeter, “what is left over”); see HALOT 452 s.v. I יֶתֶר. It is related to the verbal root יתר (Niphal “to be left over”; Hiphil “to have left over”); see HALOT 451–52 s.v. I יתר. The adjective is related to יִתְרוֹן (yitron, “advantage; profit”) which is a key-term in this section, creating a word-play: The wise man has a relative “advantage” (יִתְרוֹן) over the fool (2:13-14a); however, there is no ultimate advantage because both share the same fate, i.e., death (2:14b-15a). Thus, Qoheleth’s acquisition of tremendous wisdom (1:16; 2:9) was “excessive” because it exceeded its relative advantage over folly: it could not deliver him from the same fate as the fool. He had striven to obtain wisdom, yet it held no ultimate advantage.

tn Heb “And why was I wise (to) excess?” The rhetorical question is an example of negative affirmation, expecting a negative answer: “I gained nothing!” (E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 949).

tn Heb “So I said in my heart.”

tn Heb “and also this,” referring to the relative advantage of wisdom over folly.

tn The word “ultimately” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.



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