Ecclesiastes 3:12

NET ©

I have concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they live,

NIV ©

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

NASB ©

I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime;

NLT ©

So I concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they can.

MSG ©

I've decided that there's nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life.

BBE ©

I am certain that there is nothing better for a man than to be glad, and to do good while life is in him.

NRSV ©

I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live;

NKJV ©

I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,

KJV
I know
<03045> (8804)
that [there is] no good
<02896>
in them, but for [a man] to rejoice
<08055> (8800)_,
and to do
<06213> (8800)
good
<02896>
in his life
<02416>_.
HEBREW
wyyxb
<02416>
bwj
<02896>
twvelw
<06213>
xwmvl
<08055>
Ma
<0518>
yk
<03588>
Mb
<0>
bwj
<02896>
Nya
<0369>
yk
<03588>
ytedy (3:12)
<03045>
LXXM
egnwn
<1097>  
V-AAI-1S
oti
<3754>  
CONJ
ouk
<3364>  
ADV
estin
<1510>  
V-PAI-3S
agayon
<18>  
A-ASM
en
<1722>  
PREP
autoiv
<846>  
D-DPM
ei
<1487>  
CONJ
mh
<3165>  
ADV
tou
<3588>  
T-GSN
eufranyhnai
<2165>  
V-APN
kai
<2532>  
CONJ
tou
<3588>  
T-GSN
poiein
<4160>  
V-PAN
agayon
<18>  
A-ASM
en
<1722>  
PREP
zwh
<2222>  
N-DSF
autou
<846>  
D-GSM
NET © [draft] ITL
I have concluded
<03045>
that
<03588>
there is nothing
<0369>
better
<02896>
for
<03588>
people than
<0518>
to be happy
<08055>
and to enjoy themselves
<02896>
as long as they live
<02416>
,
NET © Notes

tn Heb “I know.”

tn Heb “for them”; the referent (people, i.e., mankind) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

tn Qoheleth uses the exceptive particle אִםכִּי (ki…’im, “except”) to identify the only exception to the futility within man’s life (BDB 474 s.v. כִּי 2).

tn Heb “to do good.” The phrase לַעֲשׂוֹת טוֹב (laasot tov) functions idiomatically for “to experience [or see] happiness [or joy].” The verb עָשַׂה (’asah) probably denotes “to acquire; to obtain” (BDB 795 s.v. עָשַׂה II.7), and טוֹב (tov) means “good; pleasure; happiness,” e.g., Eccl 2:24; 3:13; 5:17 (BDB 375 s.v. טוֹב 1).