In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.
It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
It's useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?
It is of no use for you to get up early, and to go late to your rest, with the bread of sorrow for your food; for the Lord gives to his loved ones in sleep.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.
It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “[it is] vain for you, you who are early to rise, who delay sitting, who eat the food of hard work.” The three substantival participles are parallel and stand in apposition to the pronominal suffix on the preposition. See לָכֶם (lakhem, “for you”).
3 tn Heb “he gives to his beloved, sleep.” The translation assumes that the Hebrew term שֵׁנָא (shena’, “sleep,” an alternate form of שֵׁנָה, shenah) is an adverbial accusative. The point seems to be this: Hard work by itself is not what counts, but one’s relationship to God, for God is able to bless an individual even while he sleeps. (There may even be a subtle allusion to the miracle of conception following sexual intercourse; see the reference to the gift of sons in the following verse.) The statement is not advocating laziness, but utilizing hyperbole to give perspective and to remind the addressees that God must be one’s first priority. Another option is to take “sleep” as the direct object: “yes, he gives sleep to his beloved” (cf. NIV, NRSV). In this case the point is this: Hard work by itself is futile, for only God is able to bless one with sleep, which metonymically refers to having one’s needs met. He blesses on the basis of one’s relationship to him, not on the basis of physical energy expended.