Ecclesiastes 5:11

NET ©

When someone’s prosperity increases, those who consume it also increase; so what does its owner gain, except that he gets to see it with his eyes?

NIV ©

As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?

NASB ©

When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?

NLT ©

The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth––except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers!

MSG ©

The more loot you get, the more looters show up. And what fun is that--to be robbed in broad daylight?

BBE ©

When goods are increased, the number of those who take of them is increased; and what profit has the owner but to see them?

NRSV ©

When goods increase, those who eat them increase; and what gain has their owner but to see them with his eyes?

NKJV ©

When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes?

KJV
When goods
<02896>
increase
<07235> (8800)_,
they are increased
<07231> (8804)
that eat
<0398> (8802)
them: and what good
<03788>
[is there] to the owners
<01167>
thereof, saving
<0518>
the beholding
<07207> (8675) <07212> (8801)
[of them] with their eyes
<05869>_?
HEBREW
wynye
<05869>
*twar {tyar}
<07200>
Ma
<0518>
yk
<03588>
hylebl
<01167>
Nwrsk
<03788>
hmw
<04100>
hylkwa
<0398>
wbr
<07235>
hbwjh
<02896>
twbrb
<07235>
(5:11)
<5:10>
LXXM
(5:10) en
<1722>  
PREP
plhyei
<4128>  
N-DSN
thv
<3588>  
T-GSF
agaywsunhv
<19>  
N-GSF
eplhyunyhsan
<4129>  
V-API-3P
esyontev
<2068>  
V-PAPNP
authn
<846>  
D-ASF
kai
<2532>  
CONJ
ti
<5100>  
I-NSF
andreia
 
A-NSF
tw
<3588>  
T-DSM
par
<3844>  
PREP
authv
<846>  
D-GSF
oti
<3754>  
CONJ
all
<235>  
CONJ
h
<2228>  
CONJ
tou
<3588>  
T-GSN
oran
<3708>  
V-PAN
ofyalmoiv
<3788>  
N-DPM
autou
<846>  
D-GSM
NET © [draft] ITL
When someone’s prosperity
<02896>
increases
<07235>
, those who consume
<0398>
it also increase
<07235>
; so what
<04100>
does its owner
<01167>
gain
<03788>
, except
<0518>
that
<03588>
he gets to see
<07200>
it with his eyes
<05869>
?
NET © Notes

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

tn The term טוֹבָה (tovah, “good”) connotes “prosperity” (Deut 23:7; Job 9:25; 21:25; Ps 106:5; Lam 3:17; Eccl 4:8; 5:10, 17; 6:3, 6; 7:14; 9:18; Neh 2:10; Sir 6:11; 41:13); cf. HALOT 372 s.v. טוֹבָה 2. The related term טוֹב (tov, “good”) connotes “prosperity” as well (Prov 11:10; Job 20:21; 21:16); cf. HALOT 372 s.v. טוֹבָה 1.b. Here, it refers to the possessions and wealth a person acquires as the fruit of his labors. This nuance is well reflected in several English versions: “The more a man gains, the more there are to spend it” (Moffatt); “When riches multiply, so do those who live off them” (NEB); “As his substance increase, so do those who consume it” (NJPS); and “Where there are great riches, there are also many to devour them” (NAB). The line does not describe the economic law of “supply and demand,” as some versions seem to imply, e.g., “As goods increase, so do those who consume them” (NIV); “When goods increase, those who eat them increase” (NRSV); cf. also KJV, ASV, RSV, MLB, NASB.

tn The form is plural in the Hebrew text, but the plural is one of intensification; it is used here to emphasize the owner’s authority over his wealth. See GKC 399 §124.i. See v 13 as well.

tn The rhetorical question is an example of negative affirmation, expecting a negative answer: “There is no ultimate advantage!” (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 947-48).