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Ecclesiastes 6:11 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what [is] man the better?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— For there are many words which increase futility. What [then] is the advantage to a man?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what [is] man the better?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— For there are many things that increase vanity: what is man advantaged?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Seeing there are things in abundance which make vanity abound, what profit hath man?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— For there are many things multiplying vanity; what advantage [is] to man?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— There are many words that have much vanity in disputing.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Seeing there be many things that increase vanitie, what [is] man the better?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— For there are many things which increase vanity. What advantage has a man?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what [is] man the better?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Seeing x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
there be 3426
{3426} Prime
Perhaps from an unused root meaning to stand out, or exist; entity; used adverbially or as a copula for the substantive verb (H1961); there is or are (or any other form of the verb to be, as may suit the connection).
many 7235
{7235} Prime
A primitive root; to increase (in whatever respect).
<8687> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 1162
things 1697
{1697} Prime
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
that increase 7235
{7235} Prime
A primitive root; to increase (in whatever respect).
<8688> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 857
vanity, 1892
{1892} Prime
From H1891; emptiness or vanity; figuratively something transitory and unsatisfactory; often used as an adverb.
what x4100
(4100) Complement
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
[is] man 120
{0120} Prime
From H0119; ruddy, that is, a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.).
the better? 3148
{3148} Prime
Active participle of H8498; properly redundant; hence over and above, as adjective, noun, adverb or conjugation.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:11

_ _ “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,” etc.),

_ _ what is man the better — of these vain things as regards the chief good? None whatever.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6:11-12

_ _ Here, 1. Solomon lays down his conclusion which he had undertaken to prove, as that which was fully confirmed by the foregoing discourse: There be many things that increase vanity; the life of man is vain, at the best, and there are abundance of accidents that concur to make it more so; even that which pretends to increase the vanity and make it more vexatious. 2. He draws some inferences from it, which serve further to evince the truth of it. (1.) That a man is never the nearer to true happiness for the abundance that he has in this world: What is man the better for his wealth and pleasure, his honour and preferment? What remains to man? What residuum has he, what overplus, what real advantage, when he comes to balance his accounts? Nothing that will do him any good or turn to account. (2.) That we do not know what to wish for, because that which we promise ourselves most satisfaction in often proves most vexatious to us: Who knows what is good for a man in this life, where every thing is vanity, and any thing, even that which we most covet, may prove a calamity to us? Thoughtful people are in care to do every thing for the best, if they knew it; but as it is an instance of the corruption of our hearts that we are apt to desire that as good for us which is really hurtful, as children that cry for knives to cut their fingers with, so is it an instance of the vanity of this world that what, according to all probable conjectures, seems to be for the best, often proves otherwise; such is our shortsightedness concerning the issues and events of things, and such broken reeds are all our creature-confidences. We know not how to advise others for the best, nor how to act ourselves, because that which we apprehend likely to be for our welfare may become a trap. (3.) That therefore our life upon earth is what we have no reason to take any great complacency in, or to be confident of the continuance of. It is to be reckoned by days; it is but a vain life, and we spend it as a shadow, so little is there in it substantial, so fleeting, so uncertain, so transitory is it, and so little in it to be fond of or to be depended on. If all the comforts of life be vanity, life itself can have no great reality in it to constitute a happiness for us. (4.) That our expectations from this world are as uncertain and deceitful as our enjoyments are. Since every thing is vanity, Who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun? He can no more please himself with the hopes of what shall be after him, to his children and family, than with the relish of what is with him, since he can neither foresee himself, nor can any one else foretel to him, what shall be after him. Nor shall he have any intelligence sent him of it when he is gone. His sons come to honour, and he knows it not. So that, look which way we will, Vanity of vanity, all is vanity.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ecclesiastes 6:11

Seeing — This seems to be added as a conclusion from all the foregoing chapters; seeing not only man is a vain creature in himself, but there are also many other things, which instead of diminishing, do but increase this vanity, as wisdom, pleasure, power, wealth; seeing even the good things of this life bring so much toil, and cares, and fears, with them. The better — By all that he can either desire or enjoy here?

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Ecclesiastes 1:6-9 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. ... The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:17-18 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. ... For in much wisdom [is] much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Ecclesiastes 2:3-11 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what [was] that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. ... Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all [was] vanity and vexation of spirit, and [there was] no profit under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all [is] vanity.
Ecclesiastes 4:1-4 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of [such as were] oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors [there was] power; but they had no comforter. ... Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This [is] also vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ecclesiastes 4:8 There is one [alone], and [there is] not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet [is there] no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither [saith he], For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This [is] also vanity, yea, it [is] a sore travail.
Ecclesiastes 4:16 [There is] no end of all the people, [even] of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ecclesiastes 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words [there are] also [divers] vanities: but fear thou God.
Psalms 73:6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them [as] a garment.
Hosea 12:1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.
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