Compare Translations for Ecclesiastes 9:12

Ecclesiastes 9:12 ASV
For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 BBE
Even man has no knowledge of his time; like fishes taken in an evil net, or like birds taken by deceit, are the sons of men taken in an evil time when it comes suddenly on them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 CEB
People most definitely don't know when their time will come. Like fish tragically caught in a net or like birds trapped in a snare, so are human beings caught in a time of tragedy that suddenly falls to them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 CJB
For people don't know when their time will come any more than fish taken in the fatal net or birds caught in a snare; similarly, people are snared at an unfortunate time, when suddenly it falls on them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 RHE
Man knoweth not his own end: but as fishes are taken with the hook, and as birds are caught with the snare, so men are taken in the evil time, when it shall suddenly come upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 ESV
For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 GW
No one knows when his time will come. Like fish that are caught in a cruel net or birds caught in a snare, humans are trapped by a disaster when it suddenly strikes them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 GNT
You never know when your time is coming. Like birds suddenly caught in a trap, like fish caught in a net, we are trapped at some evil moment when we least expect it.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 HNV
For man also doesn't know his time. As the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly on them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 CSB
For man certainly does not know his time: like fish caught in a cruel net, or like birds caught in a trap, so people are trapped in an evil time, as it suddenly falls on them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 KJV
For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 LEB
For man does not know his time. Just as fish are caught in a cruel net and like birds who are seized in a snare, so also {humans} are ensnared at a cruel time when it falls suddenly upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 NAS
Moreover , man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 NCV
No one knows what will happen next. Like a fish caught in a net, or a bird caught in a trap, people are trapped by evil when it suddenly falls on them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 NIRV
A man doesn't know when trouble will come to him. Fish are caught in nets. Birds are taken in traps. And people are trapped by hard times that come when they don't expect them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 NIV
Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 NKJV
For man also does not know his time: Like fish taken in a cruel net, Like birds caught in a snare, So the sons of men are snared in an evil time, When it falls suddenly upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 NLT
People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are often caught by sudden tragedy.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 NRS
For no one can anticipate the time of disaster. Like fish taken in a cruel net, and like birds caught in a snare, so mortals are snared at a time of calamity, when it suddenly falls upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 RSV
For man does not know his time. Like fish which are taken in an evil net, and like birds which are caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 DBY
For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are taken with the snare, like them are the children of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 MSG
No one can predict misfortune. Like fish caught in a cruel net or birds in a trap, So men and women are caught By accidents evil and sudden. Wisdom Is Better than Muscle
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 WBT
For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so [are] the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 TMB
For man also knoweth not his time: As the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time when it falleth suddenly upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 TNIV
Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 WEB
For man also doesn't know his time. As the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly on them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 WYC
A man knoweth not his end; but as fishes be taken with an hook, and as birds be taken with a snare, so men be taken in (an) evil time, when it cometh suddenly [up]on them.
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 YLT
For even man knoweth not his time; as fish that are taken hold of by an evil net, and as birds that are taken hold of by a snare, like these [are] the sons of man snared at an evil time, when it falleth upon them suddenly.
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Ecclesiastes 9 Commentary - Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)

Chapter 9

Good and bad men fare alike as to this world. (1-3) All men must die, Their portion as to this life. (4-10) Disappointments common. (11,12) Benefits of wisdom. (13-18)

Verses 1-3 We are not to think our searching into the word or works of God useless, because we cannot explain all difficulties. We may learn many things good for ourselves and useful to others. But man cannot always decide who are objects of God's special love, or under his wrath; and God will certainly put a difference between the precious and the vile, in the other world. The difference as to present happiness, arises from the inward supports and consolations the righteous enjoy, and the benefit they derive from varied trials and mercies. As far as the sons of men are left to themselves, their hearts are full of evil; and prosperity in sin, causes them even to set God at defiance by daring wickedness. Though, on this side death, the righteous and the wicked may often seem to fare alike, on the other side there will be a vast difference between them.

Verses 4-10 The most despicable living man's state, is preferable to that of the most noble who have died impenitent. Solomon exhorts the wise and pious to cheerful confidence in God, whatever their condition in life. The meanest morsel, coming from their Father's love, in answer to prayer, will have a peculiar relish. Not that we may set our hearts upon the delights of sense, but what God has given us we may use with wisdom. The joy here described, is the gladness of heart that springs from a sense of the Divine favour. This is the world of service, that to come is the world of recompence. All in their stations, may find some work to do. And above all, sinners have the salvation of their souls to seek after, believers have to prove their faith, adorn the gospel, glorify God, and serve their generation.

Verses 11-12 Men's success seldom equals their expectations. We must use means, but not trust to them: if we succeed, we must give God the praise; if crossed, we must submit to his will. Those who put off the great concerns of their souls, are caught in Satan's net, which he baits with some worldly object, for which they reject or neglect the gospel, and go on in sin till they suddenly fall into destruction.

Verses 13-18 A man may, by his wisdom, bring to pass that which he could never do by his strength. If God be for us, who can be against us, or stand before us? Solomon observes the power of wisdom, though it may labour under outward disadvantages. How forcible are right words! But wise and good men must often content themselves with the satisfaction of having done good, or, at least, endeavoured to do it, when they cannot do the good they would, nor have the praise they should. How many of the good gifts, both of nature and Providence, does one sinner destroy and make waste! He who destroys his own soul destroys much good. One sinner may draw many into his destroying ways. See who are the friends and enemies of a kingdom or a family, if one saint does much good, and one sinner destroys much good.

Ecclesiastes 9 Commentary - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

CHAPTER 9

Ecclesiastes 9:1-18 .

1. declare--rather, explore; the result of my exploring is this, that "the righteous, &c., are in the hand of God. No man knoweth either the love or hatred (of God to them) by all that is before them," that is, by what is outwardly seen in His present dealings ( Ecclesiastes 8:14 Ecclesiastes 8:17 ). However, from the sense of the same words, in Ecclesiastes 9:6 , "love and hatred" seem to be the feelings of the wicked towards the righteous, whereby they caused to the latter comfort or sorrow. Translate: "Even the love and hatred" (exhibited towards the righteous, are in God's hand) ( Psalms 76:10 , Proverbs 16:7 ). "No man knoweth all that is before them."

2. All things . . . alike--not universally; but as to death. Ecclesiastes 9:2-10 are made by HOLDEN the objection of a skeptical sensualist. However, they may be explained as Solomon's language. He repeats the sentiment already implied in Ecclesiastes 2:14 , 3:20 , 8:14 .
one event--not eternally; but death is common to all.
good--morally.
clean--ceremonially.
sacrificeth--alike to. Josiah who sacrificed to God, and to Ahab who made sacrifice to Him cease.
sweareth--rashly and falsely.

3. Translate, "There is an evil above all (evils) that are done," &c., namely, that not only "there is one event to all," but "also the heart of the sons of men" makes this fact a reason for "madly" persisting in "evil while they live, and after that," &c., sin is "madness."
the dead--( Proverbs 2:18 , 9:18 ).

4. For--rather, "Nevertheless." English Version rightly reads as the Margin, Hebrew, "that is joined," instead of the text, "who is to be chosen?"
hope--not of mere temporal good ( Job 14:7 ); but of yet repenting and being saved.
dog--metaphor for the vilest persons ( 1 Samuel 24:14 ).
lion--the noblest of animals ( Proverbs 30:30 ).
better--as to hope of salvation; the noblest who die unconverted have no hope; the vilest, so long as they have life, have hope.

5. know that they shall die--and may thereby be led "so to number their days, that they may apply their hearts to wisdom" ( Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 , Psalms 90:12 ).
dead know not anything--that is so far as their bodily senses and worldly affairs are concerned ( Job 14:21 , Isaiah 63:16 ); also, they know no door of repentance open to them, such as is to all on earth.
neither . . . reward--no advantage from their worldly labors ( Ecclesiastes 2:18-22 , 4:9 ).
memory--not of the righteous ( Psalms 112:6 , Malachi 3:16 ), but the wicked, who with all the pains to perpetuate their names ( Psalms 49:11 ) are soon "forgotten" ( Ecclesiastes 8:10 ).

6. love, and . . . hatred, &c.--(referring to Ecclesiastes 9:1 ; Not that these cease in a future world absolutely ( Ezekiel 32:27 , Revelation 22:11 ); but as the end of this verse shows, relatively to persons and things in this world. Man's love and hatred can no longer be exercised for good or evil in the same way as here; but the fruits of them remain. What he is at death he remains for ever. "Envy," too, marks the wicked as referred to, since it was therewith that they
portion--Their "portion" was "in this life" ( Psalms 17:14 ), that they now "cannot have any more."

7. Addressed to the "righteous wise," spoken of in Ecclesiastes 9:1 . Being "in the hand of God," who now accepteth "thy works" in His service, as He has previously accepted thy person ( Genesis 4:4 ), thou mayest "eat . . . with a cheerful (not sensually 'merry') heart" ( Ecclesiastes 3:13 , 5:18 , Acts 2:46 ).

8. white--in token of joy ( Isaiah 61:3 ). Solomon was clad in white (JOSEPHUS, Antiquities, 8:7,3); hence his attire is compared to the "lilies" ( Matthew 6:29 ), typical of the spotless righteousness of Jesus Christ, which the redeemed shall wear ( Revelation 3:18 , 7:14 ).
ointment--( Psalms 23:5 ), opposed to a gloomy exterior ( 2 Samuel 14:2 , Psalms 45:7 , Matthew 6:17 ); typical, also ( Ecclesiastes 7:1 , Solomon 1:3 ).

9. wife . . . lovest--godly and true love, opposed to the "snares" of the "thousand" concubines ( Ecclesiastes 7:26 Ecclesiastes 7:28 ), "among" whom Solomon could not find the true love which joins one man to one woman ( Proverbs 5:15 Proverbs 5:18 Proverbs 5:19 , 18:22 , 19:14 ).

10. Whatsoever--namely, in the service of God. This and last verse plainly are the language of Solomon, not of a skeptic, as HOLDEN would explain it.
hand, &c.--( Leviticus 12:8 , Margin; 1 Samuel 10:7 , Margin).
thy might--diligence ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ; Jeremiah 48:10 , Margin).
no work . . . in the grave--( John 9:4 , Revelation 14:13 ). "The soul's play-day is Satan's work-day; the idler the man the busier the tempter" [SOUTH].

11. This verse qualifies the sentiment, Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 . Earthly "enjoyments," however lawful in their place ( Ecclesiastes 3:1 ), are to give way when any work to be done for God requires it. Reverting to the sentiment ( Ecclesiastes 8:17 ), we ought, therefore, not only to work God's work "with might" ( Ecclesiastes 9:10 ), but also with the feeling that the event is wholly "in God's hand" ( Ecclesiastes 9:1 ).
race . . . not to the swift--( 2 Samuel 18:23 ); spiritually ( Zephaniah 3:19 , Romans 9:16 ).
nor . . . battle to . . . strong--( 1 Samuel 17:47 , 2 Chronicles 14:9 2 Chronicles 14:11 2 Chronicles 14:15 , Psalms 33:16 ).
bread--livelihood.
favour--of the great.
chance--seemingly, really Providence. But as man cannot "find it out" ( Ecclesiastes 3:11 ), he needs "with all might" to use opportunities. Duties are ours; events, God's.

12. his time--namely, of death ( Ecclesiastes 7:15 , Isaiah 13:22 ). Hence the danger of delay in doing the work of God, as one knows not when his opportunity will end ( Ecclesiastes 9:10 ).
evil net--fatal to them. The unexpected suddenness of the capture is the point of comparison. So the second coming of Jesus Christ, "as a snare" ( Luke 21:35 ).
evil time--as an "evil net," fatal to them.

13. Rather, "I have seen wisdom of this kind also," that is, exhibited in the way which is described in what follows [MAURER].

14, 15. ( 2 Samuel 20:16-22 ).
bulwarks--military works of besiegers.

15. poor--as to the temporal advantages of true wisdom, though it often saves others. It receives little reward from the world, which admires none save the rich and great.
no man remembered--( Genesis 40:23 ).

16. Resuming the sentiment ( Ecclesiastes 7:19 , Proverbs 21:22 , 24:5 ).
poor man's wisdom is despised--not the poor man mentioned in Ecclesiastes 9:15 ; for his wisdom could not have saved the city, had "his words not been heard"; but poor men in general. So Paul ( Acts 27:11 ).

17. The words of wise, &c.--Though generally the poor wise man is not heard ( Ecclesiastes 9:16 ), yet "the words of wise men, when heard in quiet (when calmly given heed to, as in Ecclesiastes 9:15 ), are more serviceable than," &c.
ruleth--as the "great king" ( Ecclesiastes 9:14 ). Solomon reverts to "the rulers to their own hurt" ( Ecclesiastes 8:9 ).

18. one sinner, &c.--( Joshua 7:1 Joshua 7:11 Joshua 7:12 ). Though wisdom excels folly ( Ecclesiastes 9:16 , Ecclesiastes 7:19 ), yet a "little folly (equivalent to sin) can destroy much good," both in himself ( Ecclesiastes 10:1 , 2:10 ) and in others. "Wisdom" must, from the antithesis to "sinner," mean religion. Thus typically, the "little city" may be applied to the Church ( Luke 12:32 , Hebrews 12:22 ); the great king to Satan ( John 12:31 ); the despised poor wise man, Jesus Christ ( Isaiah 53:2 Isaiah 53:3 , 6:3 , 2 Corinthians 8:9 , Ephesians 1:7 Ephesians 1:8 , Colossians 2:3 ).