Parallel Verses

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?

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?

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 to human wisdom] knows what is good for man in his life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow [going through the motions but accomplishing nothing]? For who can tell a man what will happen [to his work, his treasure, his plans] under the sun after he is gone?

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?

Jubilee 2000 Bible

For who knows what is good for man in this life, all the days of the life of his vanity which he causes to be as a shadow? for who shall teach the 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 when there are many words, they increase futility. What is the advantage for man? 12 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?


Cross References

Job 14:2

He blossoms like a flower, then withers;
he flees like a shadow and does not last.

Ecclesiastes 3:22

I have seen that there is nothing better than for a person to enjoy his activities because that is his reward. For who can enable him to see what will happen after he dies?

Ecclesiastes 8:13

However, it will not go well with the wicked, and they will not lengthen their days like a shadow, for they are not reverent before God.

James 4:14

You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.

1 Chronicles 29:15

For we live before You as foreigners and temporary residents in Your presence as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.

Job 8:9

since we were born only yesterday and know nothing.
Our days on earth are but a shadow.

Job 14:21

If his sons receive honor, he does not know it;
if they become insignificant, he is unaware of it.

Psalm 4:6

Many are saying, “Who can show us anything good?”
Look on us with favor, Lord.

Psalm 16:5

Lord, You are my portion
and my cup of blessing;
You hold my future.

Psalm 17:15

But I will see Your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with Your presence.

Psalm 39:5-6

You, indeed, have made my days short in length,
and my life span as nothing in Your sight.
Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor.Selah

Psalm 47:4

He chooses for us our inheritance—
the pride of Jacob, whom He loves.Selah

Psalm 89:47

Remember how short my life is.
Have You created everyone for nothing?

Psalm 90:10-12

Our lives last seventy years
or, if we are strong, eighty years.
Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow;
indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.

Psalm 102:11

My days are like a lengthening shadow,
and I wither away like grass.

Psalm 109:23

I fade away like a lengthening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.

Psalm 144:4

Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.

Ecclesiastes 2:3

I explored with my mind how to let my body enjoy life with wine and how to grasp folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom—until I could see what is good for people to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

Ecclesiastes 8:7

Yet no one knows what will happen because who can tell him what will happen?

Ecclesiastes 9:6

Their love, their hate, and their envy have already disappeared, and there is no longer a portion for them in all that is done under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is: fear God and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity.

Lamentations 3:24-27

I say: The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in Him.

Micah 6:8

Mankind, He has told you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

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