Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
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?
The days of his vain life
I thought deeply about the effects of indulging myself with wine (all the while my mind was guiding me with wisdom) and the effects of behaving foolishly, so that I might discover what is profitable for people to do on earth during the few days of their lives.
Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of man.
Many say, "Who can show us anything good?" Smile upon us, Lord!
Lord, you give me stability and prosperity; you make my future secure.
As for me, because I am innocent I will see your face; when I awake you will reveal yourself to me.
He picked out for us a special land to be a source of pride for Jacob, whom he loves. (Selah)
"My portion is the Lord," I have said to myself, so I will put my hope in him.
He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God.
The days of his vain life
But it will not go well with the wicked, nor will they prolong their days like a shadow, because they do not stand in fear before God.
What they loved, as well as what they hated and envied, perished long ago, and they no longer have a part in anything that happens on earth.
1 Chronicles 29:15
For we are resident foreigners and nomads in your presence, like all our ancestors; our days are like a shadow on the earth, without security.
For we were born yesterday and do not have knowledge, since our days on earth are but a shadow.
He grows up like a flower and then withers away; he flees like a shadow, and does not remain.
Look, you make my days short-lived, and my life span is nothing from your perspective. Surely all people, even those who seem secure, are nothing but vapor.
Take note of my brief lifespan! Why do you make all people so mortal?
The days of our lives add up to seventy years, or eighty, if one is especially strong. But even one's best years are marred by trouble and oppression. Yes, they pass quickly and we fly away.
My days are coming to an end, and I am withered like grass.
I am fading away like a shadow at the end of the day; I am shaken off like a locust.
People are like a vapor, their days like a shadow that disappears.
You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes.
For who can
So I perceived there is nothing better than for people to enjoy their work, because that is their reward; for who can show them what the future holds?
Surely no one knows the future, and no one can tell another person what will happen.
If his sons are honored, he does not know it; if they are brought low, he does not see it.
"Absolutely futile!" laments the Teacher, "All of these things are futile!"