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Compare Translations for Ecclesiastes 2:16

Ecclesiastes 2:16 ASV
For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance for ever; seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. And how doth the wise man die even as the fool!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 BBE
Of the wise man, as of the foolish man, there is no memory for ever, seeing that those who now are will have gone from memory in the days to come. See how death comes to the wise as to the foolish!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 CEB
There is no eternal memory of the wise any more than the foolish, because everyone is forgotten before long. How can the wise die just like the fool?
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 CJB
For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered, inasmuch as in the times to come, everything will long ago have been forgotten. The wise man, no less than the fool, must die."
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 RHE
For there shall be no remembrance of the wise no more than of the fool forever, and the times to come shall cover all things together with oblivion: the learned dieth in like manner as the unlearned.
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 ESV
For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 GW
Neither the wise person nor the fool will be remembered for long, since both will be forgotten in the days to come. Both the wise person and the fool will die.
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 GNT
No one remembers the wise, and no one remembers fools. In days to come, we will all be forgotten. We must all die - wise and foolish alike.
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 HNV
For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no memory for ever, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. Indeed, the wise man must die just like the fool!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 CSB
For, just like the fool, there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man, since in the days to come both will be forgotten. How is it that the wise man dies just like the fool?
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 KJV
For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten . And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 LEB
Certainly no one will remember the wise man or the fool in {future generations}. When [future] days come, both will have been forgotten already. How [is it that] the wise man dies the same as the fool?
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 NAS
For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 NCV
The wise person and the fool will both die, and no one will remember either one for long. In the future, both will be forgotten.
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 NIRV
Like a foolish person, a wise man won't be remembered very long. In days to come, both of them will be forgotten. Like a person who is foolish, a wise man must die too!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 NIV
For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 NKJV
For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 NLT
For the wise person and the fool both die, and in the days to come, both will be forgotten.
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 NRS
For there is no enduring remembrance of the wise or of fools, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How can the wise die just like fools?
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 RSV
For of the wise man as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise man dies just like the fool!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 DBY
For there shall be no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; because everything is already forgotten in the days which come. And how dieth the wise even as the fool?
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 MSG
The smart and the stupid both disappear out of sight. In a day or two they're both forgotten. Yes, both the smart and the stupid die, and that's it.
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 WBT
For [there is] no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now [is] in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise [man]? as the fool.
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 TMB
For there is no more remembrance of the wise for ever than of the fool, since all that now is shall be forgotten in the days to come. And how dieth the wise man? As the fool!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 TNIV
For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 WEB
For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no memory for ever, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. Indeed, the wise man must die just like the fool!
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 WYC
For the mind of a wise man shall not be, (and) in like manner as neither (that) of a fool, without end, and [the] times to coming shall cover all things (al)together with forgetting; a learned man dieth in like manner as an unlearned man. (For a wise person shall not be remembered, and in like manner neither shall a fool, yea, for ever, and the times to come shall altogether cover all things with forgetting; for a learned person dieth in the same manner as an unlearned person.)
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Ecclesiastes 2:16 YLT
That there is no remembrance to the wise -- with the fool -- to the age, for that which [is] already, [in] the days that are coming is all forgotten, and how dieth the wise? with the fool!
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Ecclesiastes 2 Commentary - Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)

Chapter 2

The vanity and vexation of mirth, sensual pleasure, riches, and pomp. (1-11) Human wisdom insufficient. (12-17) This world to be used according to the will of God. (18-26)

Verses 1-11 Solomon soon found mirth and pleasure to be vanity. What does noisy, flashy mirth towards making a man happy? The manifold devices of men's hearts, to get satisfaction from the world, and their changing from one thing to another, are like the restlessness of a man in a fever. Perceiving it was folly to give himself to wine, he next tried the costly amusements of princes. The poor, when they read such a description, are ready to feel discontent. But the remedy against all such feelings is in the estimate of it all by the owner himself. All was vanity and vexation of spirit: and the same things would yield the same result to us, as to Solomon. Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. His wisdom remained with him; a strong understanding, with great human knowledge. But every earthly pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the mind as eager and unsatisfied as before. Happiness arises not from the situation in which we are placed. It is only through Jesus Christ that final blessedness can be attained.

Verses 12-17 Solomon found that knowledge and prudence were preferable to ignorance and folly, though human wisdom and knowledge will not make a man happy. The most learned of men, who dies a stranger to Christ Jesus, will perish equally with the most ignorant; and what good can commendations on earth do to the body in the grave, or the soul in hell? And the spirits of just men made perfect cannot want them. So that if this were all, we might be led to hate our life, as it is all vanity and vexation of spirit.

Verses 18-26 Our hearts are very loth to quit their expectations of great things from the creature; but Solomon came to this at length. The world is a vale of tears, even to those that have much of it. See what fools they are, who make themselves drudges to the world, which affords a man nothing better than subsistence for the body. And the utmost he can attain in this respect is to allow himself a sober, cheerful use thereof, according to his rank and condition. But we must enjoy good in our labour; we must use those things to make us diligent and cheerful in worldly business. And this is the gift of God. Riches are a blessing or a curse to a man, according as he has, or has not, a heart to make a good use of them. To those that are accepted of the Lord, he gives joy and satisfaction in the knowledge and love of him. But to the sinner he allots labour, sorrow, vanity, and vexation, in seeking a worldly portion, which yet afterwards comes into better hands. Let the sinner seriously consider his latter end. To seek a lasting portion in the love of Christ and the blessings it bestows, is the only way to true and satisfying enjoyment even of this present world.

Ecclesiastes 2 Commentary - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

CHAPTER 2

Ecclesiastes 2:1-26 .

He next tries pleasure and luxury, retaining however, his worldly "wisdom" ( Ecclesiastes 3:9 ), but all proves "vanity" in respect to the chief good.

1. I said . . . heart--( Luke 12:19 ).
thee--my heart, I will test whether thou canst find that solid good in pleasure which was not in "worldly wisdom." But this also proves to be "vanity" ( Isaiah 50:11 ).

2. laughter--including prosperity, and joy in general ( Job 8:21 ).
mad--that is, when made the chief good; it is harmless in its proper place.
What doeth it?--Of what avail is it in giving solid good? ( Ecclesiastes 7:6 , Proverbs 14:13 ).

3-11. Illustration more at large of Ecclesiastes 2:1 Ecclesiastes 2:2 .
I sought--I resolved, after search into many plans.
give myself unto wine--literally, "to draw my flesh," or "body to wine" (including all banquetings). Image from a captive drawn after a chariot in triumph ( Romans 6:16 Romans 6:19 , 1 Corinthians 12:2 ); or, one "allured" ( 2 Peter 2:18 2 Peter 2:19 ).
yet acquainting . . . wisdom--literally, "and my heart (still) was behaving, or guiding itself," with wisdom [GESENIUS]. MAURER translates: "was weary of (worldly) wisdom." But the end of Ecclesiastes 2:9 confirms English Version.
folly--namely, pleasures of the flesh, termed "mad," Ecclesiastes 2:2 .
all the days, &c.--(See Margin and Ecclesiastes 6:12 , Job 15:20 ).

4. ( 1 Kings 7:1-8 , 1 Kings 9:1 1 Kings 9:19 , 10:18 , &c.).
vineyards--( Solomon 8:11 ).

5. gardens--Hebrew, "paradises," a foreign word; Sanskrit, "a place enclosed with a wall"; Armenian and Arabic, "a pleasure ground with flowers and shrubs near the king's house, or castle." An earthly paradise can never make up for the want of the heavenly ( Revelation 2:7 ).

6. pools--artificial, for irrigating the soil ( Genesis 2:10 , Nehemiah 2:14 , Isaiah 1:30 ). Three such reservoirs are still found, called Solomon's cisterns, a mile and a half from Jerusalem.
wood that bringeth forth--rather, "the grove that flourisheth with trees" [LOWTH].

7. born in my house--These were esteemed more trustworthy servants than those bought ( Genesis 14:14 , Genesis 15:2 Genesis 15:3 , Genesis 17:12 Genesis 17:13 Genesis 17:27 , Jeremiah 2:14 ), called "songs of one's handmaid" ( Exodus 23:12 ; compare Genesis 12:16 , Job 1:3 ).

8. ( 1 Kings 10:27 , 2 Chronicles 1:15 , 9:20 ).
peculiar treasure of kings and . . . provinces--contributed by them, as tributary to him ( 1 Kings 4:21 1 Kings 4:24 ) a poor substitute for the wisdom whose "gain is better than fine gold" ( Proverbs 3:14 Proverbs 3:15 ).
singers--so David ( 2 Samuel 19:35 ).
musical instruments . . . of all sorts--introduced at banquets ( Isaiah 5:12 , Amos 6:5 Amos 6:6 ); rather, "a princess and princesses," from an Arabic root. One regular wife, or queen ( Esther 1:9 ); Pharaoh's daughter ( 1 Kings 3:1 ); other secondary wives, "princesses," distinct from the "concubines" ( 1 Kings 11:3 , Psalms 45:10 , Solomon 6:8 ) [WEISS, GESENIUS]. Had these been omitted, the enumeration would be incomplete.

9. great--opulent ( Genesis 24:35 , Job 1:3 ; see 1 Kings 10:23 ).
remained--( Ecclesiastes 2:3 ).

10. my labour--in procuring pleasures.
this--evanescent "joy" was my only "portion out of all my labor" ( Ecclesiastes 3:22 , 5:18 , 9:9 , 1 Kings 10:5 ).

11. But all these I felt were only "vanity," and of "no profit" as to the chief good. "Wisdom" (worldly common sense, sagacity), which still "remained with me" ( Ecclesiastes 2:9 ), showed me that these could not give solid happiness.

12. He had tried (worldly) wisdom ( Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 ) and folly (foolish pleasure) ( Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 ); he now compares them ( Ecclesiastes 2:12 ) and finds that while (worldly)
wisdom excelleth folly ( Ecclesiastes 2:13 Ecclesiastes 2:14 ), yet the one event, death, befalls both ( Ecclesiastes 2:14-16 ), and that thus the wealth acquired by the wise man's "labor" may descend to a "fool" that hath not labored ( Ecclesiastes 2:18 Ecclesiastes 2:19 Ecclesiastes 2:21 ); therefore all his labor is vanity ( Ecclesiastes 2:22 Ecclesiastes 2:23 ).
what can the man do . . . already done--( Ecclesiastes 1:9 ). Parenthetical. A future investigator can strike nothing out "new," so as to draw a different conclusion from what I draw by comparing "wisdom and madness." HOLDEN, with less ellipsis, translates, "What, O man, shall come after the king?" &c. Better, GROTIUS, "What man can come after (compete with) the king in the things which are done?" None ever can have the same means of testing what all earthly things can do towards satisfying the soul; namely, worldly wisdom, science, riches, power, longevity, all combined.

13, 14. ( Proverbs 17:24 ). The worldly "wise" man has good sense in managing his affairs, skill and taste in building and planting, and keeps within safe and respectable bounds in pleasure, while the "fool" is wanting in these respects ("darkness," equivalent to fatal error, blind infatuation), yet one event, death, happens to both ( Job 21:26 ).

15. why was I--so anxious to become, &c. ( 2 Chronicles 1:10 ).
Then--Since such is the case.
this--namely, pursuit of (worldly) wisdom; it can never fill the place of the true wisdom ( Job 28:28 , Jeremiah 8:9 ).

16. remembrance--a great aim of the worldly ( Genesis 11:4 ). The righteous alone attain it ( Psalms 112:6 , Proverbs 10:7 ).
for ever--no perpetual memorial.
that which now is--MAURER, "In the days to come all things shall be now long ago forgotten."

17. Disappointed in one experiment after another, he is weary of life. The backslider ought to have rather reasoned as the prodigal ( Hosea 2:6 Hosea 2:7 , Luke 15:17 Luke 15:18 ).
grievous unto me--( Job 10:1 ).

18, 19. One hope alone was left to the disappointed worldling, the perpetuation of his name and riches, laboriously gathered, through his successor. For selfishness is mostly at the root of worldly parents' alleged providence for their children. But now the remembrance of how he himself, the piously reared child of David, had disregarded his father's dying charge ( 1 Chronicles 28:9 ), suggested the sad misgivings as to what Rehoboam, his son by an idolatrous Ammonitess, Naamah, should prove to be; a foreboding too fully realized ( 1 Kings 12:1-18 , 14:21-31 ).

20. I gave up as desperate all hope of solid fruit from my labor.

21. Suppose "there is a man," &c.
equity--rather "with success," as the Hebrew is rendered ( Ecclesiastes 11:6 ), "prosper," though Margin gives "right" [HOLDEN and MAURER].
evil--not in itself, for this is the ordinary course of things, but "evil," as regards the chief good, that one should have toiled so fruitlessly.

22. Same sentiment as in Ecclesiastes 2:21 , interrogatively.

23. The only fruit he has is, not only sorrows in his days, but all his days are sorrows, and his travail (not only has griefs connected with it, but is itself), grief.

24. English Version gives a seemingly Epicurean sense, contrary to the general scope. The Hebrew, literally is, "It is not good for man that he should eat," &c., "and should make his soul see good" (or "show his soul, that is, himself, happy"), &c. [WEISS]. According to HOLDEN and WEISS, Ecclesiastes 3:12 Ecclesiastes 3:22 differ from this verse in the text and meaning; here he means, "It is not good that a man should feast himself, and falsely make as though his soul were happy"; he thus refers to a false pretending of happiness acquired by and for one's self; in Ecclesiastes 3:12 Ecclesiastes 3:22 , Ecclesiastes 5:18 Ecclesiastes 5:19 , to real seeing, or finding pleasure when God gives it. There it is said to be good for a man to enjoy with satisfaction and thankfulness the blessings which God gives; here it is said not to be good to take an unreal pleasure to one's self by feasting, &c.
This also I saw--I perceived by experience that good (real pleasure) is not to be taken at will, but comes only from the hand of God [WEISS] ( Psalms 4:6 , Isaiah 57:19-21 ). Or as HOLDEN, "It is the appointment from the hand of God, that the sensualist has no solid satisfaction" (good).

25. hasten--after indulgences ( Proverbs 7:23 , 19:2 ), eagerly pursue such enjoyments. None can compete with me in this. If I, then, with all my opportunities of enjoyment, failed utterly to obtain solid pleasure of my own making, apart from God, who else can? God mercifully spares His children the sad experiment which Solomon made, by denying them the goods which they often desire. He gives them the fruits of Solomon's experience, without their paying the dear price at which Solomon bought it.

26. True, literally, in the Jewish theocracy; and in some measure in all ages ( Job 27:16 Job 27:17 , Proverbs 13:22 , 28:8 ). Though the retribution be not so visible and immediate now as then, it is no less real. Happiness even here is more truly the portion of the godly ( Psalms 84:11 , Matthew 5:5 , Mark 10:29 Mark 10:30 , Romans 8:28 , 1 Timothy 4:8 ).
that he--the sinner
may give--that is, unconsciously and in spite of himself. The godly Solomon had satisfaction in his riches and wisdom, when God gave them ( 2 Chronicles 1:11 2 Chronicles 1:12 ). The backsliding Solomon had no happiness when he sought it in them apart from God; and the riches which he heaped up became the prey of Shishak ( 2 Chronicles 12:9 ).