I concluded that 3 the righteous and the wise, as well as their works, are in the hand of God;
whether a person will be loved or hated 4 –
no one knows what lies ahead. 5
the righteous and the wicked,
the good and the bad, 7
the ceremonially clean and unclean,
those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
What happens to the good person, also happens to the sinner; 8
what happens to those who make vows, also happens to those who are afraid to make vows.
the same fate awaits 11 everyone.
In addition to this, the hearts of all people 12 are full of evil,
and there is folly in their hearts during their lives – then they die. 13
1 tn Heb “I laid all this to my heart.”
2 tn The term וְלָבוּר (velavur, conjunction + Qal infinitive construct from בּוּר, bur, “to make clear”) denotes “to examine; to make clear; to clear up; to explain” (HALOT 116 s.v. בור; BDB 101 s.v. בּוּר). The term is related to Arabic baraw “to examine” (G. R. Driver, “Supposed Arabisms in the Old Testament,” JBL 55 : 108). This verb is related to the Hebrew noun בֹּר (bor, “cleanness”) and adjective בַּר (bar, “clean”). The term is used in the OT only in Ecclesiastes (1:13; 2:3; 7:25; 9:1). This use of the infinitive has a connotative sense (“attempting to”), and functions in a complementary sense, relative to the main verb.
3 tn The words “I concluded that” do not appear in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
4 tn Heb “whether love or hatred.”
5 tn Heb “man does not know anything before them.”
6 tn Heb “all things just as to everyone, one fate.”
7 tc The MT reads simply “the good,” but the Greek versions read “the good and the bad.” In contrast to the other four pairs in v. 2 (“the righteous and the wicked,” “those who sacrifice, and those who do not sacrifice,” “the good man…the sinner,” and “those who make vows…those who are afraid to make vows”), the MT has a triad in the second line: לַטּוֹב וְלַטָּהוֹר וְלַטָּמֵא (lattov vÿlattahor vÿlattame’, “the good, and the clean, and the unclean”). This reading in the Leningrad Codex (ca.
8 tn Heb “As is the good (man), so is the sinner.”
9 tn Heb “evil.”
10 tn Heb “under the sun.”
11 tn The term “awaits” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for smoothness and stylistic reasons.
12 tn Heb “also the heart of the sons of man.” Here “heart” is a collective singular.
13 tn Heb “and after that [they go] to [the place of] the dead.”