Parallel Verses

New American Standard Bible

For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

King James Version

For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Holman Bible

For who knows what is good for man in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell man what will happen after him under the sun?

A Conservative Version

For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow? For who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

American Standard Version

For who knoweth what is good for man in his life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Amplified

For who [limited by human wisdom] knows what is good for man during his lifetime, during the few days of his futile life? He spends them like a shadow [staying busy, but achieving nothing of lasting value]. For who can tell a man what will happen after him [to his work, his treasure, his plans] under the sun [after his life is over]?

Bible in Basic English

Who is able to say what is good for man in life all the days of his foolish life which he goes through like a shade? who will say what is to be after him under the sun?

Darby Translation

For who knoweth what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell man what shall be after him under the sun?

Julia Smith Translation

For who shall know what is for man in life, the number of the days of the life of his vanity, and he will make them as a shadow? for who shall announce to man what shall be after him under the sun?

King James 2000

For who knows what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spends like a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Lexham Expanded Bible

For who knows what [is] good for a man in his life during the few days of his fleeting life, which are fleeting as a shadow? For who can tell anyone what will happen {in the future} under the sun?

Modern King James verseion

For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow? For who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Modern Spelling Tyndale-Coverdale

For who knoweth what is good for man living, in the days of his vain life, which is but a shadow? Or, who will tell a man what shall happen after him under the Sun?

NET Bible

For no one knows what is best for a person during his life -- during the few days of his fleeting life -- for they pass away like a shadow. Nor can anyone tell him what the future will hold for him on earth.

New Heart English Bible

For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spends like a shadow? For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

The Emphasized Bible

For who knoweth what is good for a man throughout his life, for the number of the days of his life of vanity, seeing he will make them, like a shadow, - for who can tell a man, what shall be after him, under the sun?

Webster

For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

World English Bible

For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spends like a shadow? For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

Youngs Literal Translation

For who knoweth what is good for a man in life, the number of the days of the life of his vanity, and he maketh them as a shadow? for who declareth to man what is after him under the sun?

Interlinear

English(KJV)
Strong's
Root Form
Definition
Usage
אדם 
'adam 
Usage: 541

in this life
חי 
Chay 
Usage: 502

all
מספּר 
Micpar 
Usage: 132

the days
יום 
Yowm 
Usage: 2293

of his vain
הבל הבל 
hebel 
Usage: 73

חי 
Chay 
Usage: 502

as a shadow
צל 
Tsel 
Usage: 49

נגד 
Nagad 
Usage: 370

a man
אדם 
'adam 
Usage: 541

אחר 
'achar 
Usage: 488

References

Hastings

Context Readings

The Future Is Inscrutable To Humans

11 For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man? 12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?


Cross References

Job 14:2

Like a flower he comes forth and withers.
He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.

Ecclesiastes 3:22

I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot. For who will bring him to see what will occur after him?

Ecclesiastes 8:13

But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God.

James 4:14

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

1 Chronicles 29:15

For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope.

Job 8:9

“For we are only of yesterday and know nothing,
Because our days on earth are as a shadow.

Job 14:21

“His sons achieve honor, but he does not know it;
Or they become insignificant, but he does not perceive it.

Psalm 4:6

Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”
Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!

Psalm 16:5

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.

Psalm 17:15

As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness;
I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.

Psalm 39:5-6

“Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.

Psalm 47:4

He chooses our inheritance for us,
The glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah.

Psalm 89:47

Remember what my span of life is;
For what vanity You have created all the sons of men!

Psalm 90:10-12

As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.

Psalm 102:11

My days are like a lengthened shadow,
And I wither away like grass.

Psalm 109:23

I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens;
I am shaken off like the locust.

Psalm 144:4

Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.

Ecclesiastes 2:3

I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

Ecclesiastes 8:7

If no one knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen?

Ecclesiastes 9:6

Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.

Lamentations 3:24-27

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.

New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org

NET Bible copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. NetBible

Basic English, produced by Mr C. K. Ogden of the Orthological Institute - public domain