Compare Translations for Ecclesiastes 6:9

Ecclesiastes 6:9 ASV
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 ASV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 ASV in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 BBE
What the eyes see is better than the wandering of desire. This is to no purpose and a desire for wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 BBE  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 BBE in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 CEB
It's better to enjoy what's at hand than to have an insatiable appetite. This too is pointless, just wind chasing.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 CEB  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 CEB in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 CJB
Better what the eyes can see than meandering desire. Yet this too is pointless and feeding on wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 CJB  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 CJB in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 RHE
Better it is to see what thou mayst desire, than to desire that which thou canst not know. But this also is vanity, and presumption of spirit.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 RHE  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 RHE in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 ESV
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 ESV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 ESV in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 GW
It is better to look at what is in front of you than to go looking for what you want. Even this is pointless. [It's like] trying to catch the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 GW  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 GW in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 GNT
It is useless; it is like chasing the wind. It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 GNT  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 GNT in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 HNV
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 HNV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 HNV in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 CSB
Better what the eyes see than wandering desire. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 CSB  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 CSB in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 KJV
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 KJV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 KJV in parallel  |  Interlinear view
Ecclesiastes 6:9 LEB
{Better to be content with what your eyes see than for your soul to constantly crave more}. This also [is] vanity and chasing wind!
Read Ecclesiastes 6 LEB  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 LEB in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 NAS
What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires. This too is futility and a striving after wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 NAS  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 NAS in parallel  |  Interlinear view
Ecclesiastes 6:9 NCV
It is better to see what you have than to want more. Wanting more is useless -- like chasing the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 NCV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 NCV in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 NIRV
Being satisfied with what you have is better than always wanting more. That doesn't have any meaning either. It's like chasing the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 NIRV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 NIRV in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 NIV
Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 NIV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 NIV in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 NKJV
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 NKJV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 NKJV in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 NLT
Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless; it is like chasing the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 NLT  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 NLT in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 NRS
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire; this also is vanity and a chasing after wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 NRS  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 NRS in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 RSV
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire; this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 RSV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 RSV in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 DBY
Better is the seeing of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and pursuit of the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 DBY  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 DBY in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 MSG
Just grab whatever you can while you can; don't assume something better might turn up by and by. All it amounts to anyway is smoke. And spitting into the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 MSG  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 MSG in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 WBT
Better [is] the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this [is] also vanity and vexation of spirit.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 WBT  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 WBT in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 TMB
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 TMB  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 TMB in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 TNIV
Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 TNIV  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 TNIV in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 WEB
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 WEB  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 WEB in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 WYC
It is better to see that, that thou covetest, than to desire that, that thou knowest not; but also this is vanity, and presumption of spirit. (It is better to see what thou covetest, than to desire what thou knowest not; but this is also empty and futile, like chasing the wind.)
Read Ecclesiastes 6 WYC  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 WYC in parallel  
Ecclesiastes 6:9 YLT
Better [is] the sight of the eyes than the going of the soul. This also [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
Read Ecclesiastes 6 YLT  |  Read Ecclesiastes 6:9 YLT in parallel  

Ecclesiastes 6 Commentary - Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)

Chapter 6

The vanity of riches. Also of long life and flourishing families. (1-6) The little advantage any one has in outward things. (7-12)

Verses 1-6 A man often has all he needs for outward enjoyment; yet the Lord leaves him so to covetousness or evil dispositions, that he makes no good or comfortable use of what he has. By one means or other his possessions come to strangers; this is vanity, and an evil disease. A numerous family was a matter of fond desire and of high honour among the Hebrews; and long life is the desire of mankind in general. Even with these additions a man may not be able to enjoy his riches, family, and life. Such a man, in his passage through life, seems to have been born for no end or use. And he who has entered on life only for one moment, to quit it the next, has a preferable lot to him who has lived long, but only to suffer.

Verses 7-12 A little will serve to sustain us comfortably, and a great deal can do no more. The desires of the soul find nothing in the wealth of the world to give satisfaction. The poor man has comfort as well as the richest, and is under no real disadvantage. We cannot say, Better is the sight of the eyes than the resting of the soul in God; for it is better to live by faith in things to come, than to live by sense, which dwells only upon present things. Our lot is appointed. We have what pleases God, and let that please us. The greatest possessions and honours cannot set us above the common events of human life. Seeing that the things men pursue on earth increase vanities, what is man the better for his worldly devices? Our life upon earth is to be reckoned by days. It is fleeting and uncertain, and with little in it to be fond of, or to be depended on. Let us return to God, trust in his mercy through Jesus Christ, and submit to his will. Then soon shall we glide through this vexatious world, and find ourselves in that happy place, where there is fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore.

Ecclesiastes 6 Commentary - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

CHAPTER 6

Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 .

1. common--or else more literally,--"great upon man," falls heavily upon man.

2. for his soul--that is, his enjoyment.
God giveth him not power to eat--This distinguishes him from the "rich" man in Ecclesiastes 5:19 . "God hath given" distinguishes him also from the man who got his wealth by "oppression" ( Ecclesiastes 5:8 Ecclesiastes 5:10 ).
stranger--those not akin, nay, even hostile to him ( Jeremiah 51:51 , Lamentations 5:2 , Hosea 7:9 ). He seems to have it in his "power" to do as he will with his wealth, but an unseen power gives him up to his own avarice: God wills that he should toil for "a stranger" ( Ecclesiastes 2:26 ), who has found favor in God's sight.

3. Even if a man (of this character) have very many (equivalent to "a hundred," 2 Kings 10:1 ) children, and not have a "stranger" as his heir ( Ecclesiastes 6:2 ), and live long ("days of years" express the brevity of life at its best, Genesis 47:9 ), yet enjoy no real "good" in life, and lie unhonored, without "burial," at death ( 2 Kings 9:26 2 Kings 9:35 ), the embryo is better than he. In the East to be without burial is the greatest degradation. "Better the fruit that drops from the tree before it is ripe than that left to hang on till rotten" [HENRY].

4. he--rather "it," "the untimely birth." So "its," not "his name."
with vanity--to no purpose; a type of the driftless existence of him who makes riches the chief good.
darkness--of the abortive; a type of the unhonored death and dark future beyond the grave of the avaricious.

5. this--yet "it has more rest than" the toiling, gloomy miser.

6. If the miser's length of "life" be thought to raise him above the abortive, Solomon answers that long life, without enjoying real good, is but lengthened misery, and riches cannot exempt him from going whither "all go." He is fit neither for life, nor death, nor eternity.

7. man--rather, "the man," namely, the miser ( Ecclesiastes 6:3-6 ). For not all men labor for the mouth, that is, for selfish gratification.
appetite--Hebrew, "the soul." The insatiability of the desire prevents that which is the only end proposed in toils, namely, self-gratification; "the man" thus gets no "good" out of his wealth ( Ecclesiastes 6:3 ).

8. For--"However" [MAURER]. The "for" means (in contrast to the insatiability of the miser), For what else is the advantage which the wise man hath above the fool?"
What--advantage, that is, superiority, above him who knows not how to walk uprightly
hath the poor who knoweth to walk before the living?--that is, to use and enjoy life aright ( Ecclesiastes 5:18 Ecclesiastes 5:19 ), a cheerful, thankful, godly "walk" ( Psalms 116:9 ).

9. Answer to the question in Ecclesiastes 6:8 . This is the advantage:
Better is the sight of the eyes--the wise man's godly enjoyment of present seen blessings
than the (fool's) wandering--literally, walking ( Psalms 73:9 ), of the desire, that is, vague, insatiable desires for what he has not ( Ecclesiastes 6:7 , Hebrews 13:5 ).
this--restless wandering of desire, and not enjoying contentedly the present ( 1 Timothy 6:6 1 Timothy 6:8 ).

10. Part II begins here. Since man's toils are vain, what is the chief good? ( Ecclesiastes 6:12 ). The answer is contained in the rest of the book.
That which hath been--man's various circumstances
is named already--not only has existed, Ecclesiastes 1:9 , 3:15 , but has received its just name, "vanity," long ago,
and it is known that it--vanity
is man--Hebrew, "Adam," equivalent to man "of red dust," as his Creator appropriately named him from his frailty.
neither may he contend, &c.--( Romans 9:20 ).

11. "Seeing" that man cannot escape from the "vanity," which by God's "mighty" will is inherent in earthly things, and cannot call in question God's wisdom in these dispensations (equivalent to "contend," &c.),
what is man the better--of these vain things as regards the chief good? None whatever.

12. For who knoweth, &c.--The ungodly know not what is really "good" during life, nor "what shall be after them," that is, what will be the event of their undertakings ( Ecclesiastes 3:22 , 8:7 ). The godly might be tempted to "contend with God" ( Ecclesiastes 6:10 ) as to His dispensations; but they cannot fully know the wise purposes served by them now and hereafter. Their sufferings from the oppressors are more really good for them than cloudless prosperity; sinners are being allowed to fill up their measure of guilt. Retribution in part vindicates God's ways even now. The judgment shall make all clear. In Ecclesiastes 7:1-29 , he states what is good, in answer to this verse.