Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Ecclesiastes 4:8

Context
NET ©

A man who is all alone with no companion, 1  he has no children nor siblings; 2  yet there is no end to all his toil, and he 3  is never satisfied with riches. He laments, 4  “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself 5  of pleasure?” 6  This also is futile and a burdensome task! 7 

NIV ©

There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless—a miserable business!

NASB ©

There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, "And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?" This too is vanity and it is a grievous task.

NLT ©

This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, "Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?" It is all so meaningless and depressing.

MSG ©

a solitary person, completely alone--no children, no family, no friends--yet working obsessively late into the night, compulsively greedy for more and more, never bothering to ask, "Why am I working like a dog, never having any fun? And who cares?" More smoke. A bad business.

BBE ©

It is one who is by himself, without a second, and without son or brother; but there is no end to all his work, and he has never enough of wealth. For whom, then, am I working and keeping myself from pleasure? This again is to no purpose, and a bitter work.

NRSV ©

the case of solitary individuals, without sons or brothers; yet there is no end to all their toil, and their eyes are never satisfied with riches. "For whom am I toiling," they ask, "and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

NKJV ©

There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks , "For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?" This also is vanity and a grave misfortune.


KJV
There is
<03426>
one
<0259>
[alone], and [there is] not a second
<08145>_;
yea, he hath neither child
<01121>
nor brother
<0251>_:
yet [is there] no end
<07093>
of all his labour
<05999>_;
neither is his eye
<05869>
satisfied
<07646> (8799)
with riches
<06239>_;
neither [saith he], For whom do I labour
<06001>_,
and bereave
<02637> (8764)
my soul
<05315>
of good
<02896>_?
This [is] also vanity
<01892>_,
yea, it [is] a sore
<07451>
travail
<06045>_.
NASB ©
There
<03426>
was a certain
<0259>
man
<0259>
without
<0369>
a dependent
<08145>
, having
<0369>
neither
<01571>
<369> a son
<01121>
nor
<0369>
a brother
<0251>
, yet there
<0369>
was no
<0369>
end
<07093>
to all
<03605>
his labor
<05999>
. Indeed
<01571>
, his eyes
<05869>
were not satisfied
<07646>
with riches
<06239>
and he never asked, "And for whom
<04310>
am I laboring
<06001>
and depriving
<02637>
myself
<05315>
of pleasure
<02899>
?" This
<02088>
too
<01571>
is vanity
<01892>
and it is a grievous
<07451>
task
<06045>
.
HEBREW
awh
<01931>
er
<07451>
Nynew
<06045>
lbh
<01892>
hz
<02088>
Mg
<01571>
hbwjm
<02896>
yspn
<05315>
ta
<0853>
roxmw
<02637>
lme
<06001>
yna
<0589>
ymlw
<04310>
rse
<06239>
ebvt
<07646>
al
<03808>
*wnye {wynye}
<05869>
Mg
<01571>
wlme
<05999>
lkl
<03605>
Uq
<07093>
Nyaw
<0369>
wl
<0>
Nya
<0369>
xaw
<0251>
Nb
<01121>
Mg
<01571>
yns
<08145>
Nyaw
<0369>
dxa
<0259>
sy (4:8)
<03426>
LXXM
estin
<1510
V-PAI-3S
eiv
<1519
N-NUI
kai
<2532
CONJ
ouk
<3364
ADV
estin
<1510
V-PAI-3S
deuterov
<1208
A-NSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
ge
<1065
PRT
uiov
<5207
N-NSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
adelfov
<80
N-NSM
ouk
<3364
ADV
estin
<1510
V-PAI-3S
autw
<846
D-DSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
ouk
<3364
ADV
estin
<1510
V-PAI-3S
perasmov {N-NSM} tw
<3588
T-DSM
panti
<3956
A-DSM
mocyw
<3449
N-DSM
autou
<846
D-GSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
ge
<1065
PRT
ofyalmov
<3788
N-NSM
autou
<846
D-GSM
ouk
<3364
ADV
empiplatai {V-PMI-3S} ploutou
<4149
N-GSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
tini
<5100
I-DSN
egw
<1473
P-NS
mocyw {V-PAI-1S} kai
<2532
CONJ
steriskw {V-PAI-1S} thn
<3588
T-ASF
quchn
<5590
N-ASF
mou
<1473
P-GS
apo
<575
PREP
agaywsunhv
<19
N-GSF
kai
<2532
CONJ
ge
<1065
PRT
touto
<3778
D-NSN
mataiothv
<3153
N-NSF
kai
<2532
CONJ
perispasmov {N-NSM} ponhrov
<4190
A-NSM
estin
<1510
V-PAI-3S
NET © [draft] ITL
A man
<0259>
who is all alone
<0259>
with no companion
<08145>
, he has no
<0369>
children
<01121>
nor siblings
<0251>
; yet
<0369>
there is no
<0369>
end
<07093>
to all
<03605>
his toil
<05999>
, and he
<05869>
is never
<03808>
satisfied
<07646>
with riches
<06239>
. He laments, “For whom
<04310>
am I
<0589>
toiling
<06001>
and depriving
<02637>
myself
<05315>
of pleasure
<02896>
?” This
<02088>
also
<01571>
is futile
<01892>
and a burdensome
<07451>
task
<06045>
!
NET ©

A man who is all alone with no companion, 1  he has no children nor siblings; 2  yet there is no end to all his toil, and he 3  is never satisfied with riches. He laments, 4  “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself 5  of pleasure?” 6  This also is futile and a burdensome task! 7 

NET © Notes

tn Heb “There is one and there is not a second.”

tn Heb “son nor brother.” The terms “son” and “brother” are examples of synecdoche of specific (species) for the general (genus). The term “son” is put for offspring, and “brother” for siblings (e.g., Prov 10:1).

tn Heb “his eye.” The term “eye” is a synecdoche of part (i.e., the eye) for the whole (i.e., the whole person); see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 647.

tn The phrase “he laments” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity. The direct discourse (“For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?”) is not introduced with an introductory structure. As in the LXX, some translations suggest that these words are spoken by a lonely workaholic, e.g., “He says…” (NAB, NEB, ASV, NIV, NRSV). Others suggest that this is a question that he never asks himself, e.g., “Yet he never asks himself…” (KJV, RSV, MLB, YLT, Douay, NASB, Moffatt).

tn Heb “my soul.”

tn This rhetorical question is an example of negative affirmation, that is, it expects a negative answer: “No one!” (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 949-51).

tn The adjective רָע (ra’, “evil”) here means “misfortune” (HALOT 1263 s.v. רָעָה 4) or “injustice, wrong” (HALOT 1262 s.v. רָעָה 2.b). The phrase עִנְיַן רָע (’inyan ra’, “unhappy business; 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 עָנָה (’anah) means “to be occupied; to be busy with (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 ענה). HALOT 857 s.v. עִנְיָן renders the phrase as “unhappy business” here. The phrase עִנְיַן רָע, is treated creatively by English versions: KJV, ASV “sore travail”; YLT “sad travail”; Douay “grievous vexation”; RSV, NRSV, NJPS “unhappy business”; NEB, Moffatt “sorry business”; NIV “miserable business”; NAB “worthless task”; NASB “grievous task”; MLB “sorry situation”; NLT “depressing.”



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