Parallel Verses

The Emphasized Bible

Better what the eyes behold, than the wandering of desire, - even this, was vanity, and a feeding on wind.

New American Standard Bible

What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires. This too is futility and a striving after wind.

King James Version

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

Holman Bible

Better what the eyes see than wandering desire. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

International Standard Version

It is better to focus on what you can see than to meander after your self-interest; this also is pointless and a chasing after wind.

A Conservative Version

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

American Standard Version

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Amplified

What the eyes see [enjoying what is available] is better than [craving] what the soul desires. This too is futility and chasing after the wind.

Bible in Basic English

What the eyes see is better than the wandering of desire. This is to no purpose and a desire for wind.

Darby Translation

Better is the seeing of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and pursuit of the wind.

Julia Smith Translation

Good the sight of the eyes above the going of the soul. Also this is vanity and striving of spirit

King James 2000

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and grasping after the wind.

Lexham Expanded Bible

{Better to be content with what your eyes see than for your soul to constantly crave more}. This also [is] vanity and chasing wind!

Modern King James verseion

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

Modern Spelling Tyndale-Coverdale

The sight of the eyes is better, then that the soul should so depart away. Howbeit, this is also a vain thing and a disquietness of mind.

NET Bible

It is better to be content with what the eyes can see than for one's heart always to crave more. This continual longing is futile -- like chasing the wind.

New Heart English Bible

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Webster

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

World English Bible

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Youngs Literal Translation

Better is the sight of the eyes than the going of the soul. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Interlinear

English(KJV)
Strong's
Root Form
Definition
Usage
is the sight
מראה 
Mar'eh 
Usage: 104

of the eyes
עין 
`ayin 
Usage: 372

הלך 
Halak 
go, walk, come, ...away, ...along,
Usage: 1545

of the desire
נפשׁ 
Nephesh 
Usage: 753

הבל הבל 
hebel 
Usage: 73

and vexation
רעוּת 
R@`uwth 
Usage: 7

References

Hastings

Context Readings

One Must Learn To Be Content With What One Has

8 For what profit hath the wise man, over the dullard? What can, the poor man, know - so as to walk before the living? 9 Better what the eyes behold, than the wandering of desire, - even this, was vanity, and a feeding on wind. 10 Whatsoever one may be, long ago, was he called by his name, and it is known that it is - Son of Earth, - he cannot, therefore, contend with one stronger than he.


Cross References

Ecclesiastes 1:14

I saw all the works which were done under the sun, - and lo! all, was vanity, and a feeding on wind.

Job 31:7

If my goings have swerved from the way, - and, after mine eyes, hath gone my heart, and, to my hands, hath adhered any stain,

Proverbs 30:15-16

The vampire, hath two daughters, Give! Give! Three, there are will not be satisfied, four, have not said, Enough!

Ecclesiastes 1:2

Vanity of vanities! saith the Proclaimer, vanity of vanities! all, is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 2:11

When, I, looked upon all my works, which my hands had made, and on my toil, whereon I had toilsomely wrought, then lo! all, was vanity, and feeding on wind, and there was no profit under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-24

For what hath the man for all his toil, and for the striving of his heart, - wherein, he himself, toiled under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

I know that there is no blessedness in them, - save to be glad, and to do well with one's life.

Ecclesiastes 4:4

Then saw, I, all the toil and all the skill of the work, that, for this, a man was envied of his neighbour, - even this, was vanity, and a feeding on wind.

Ecclesiastes 5:18

Lo! what, I myself, have seen - Better that it should be excellent to eat and to drink and to see blessedness, in all one's toil wherein one toileth under the sun, for the number of the days of his life, in that God hath given it him, for, that, is his portion:

Ecclesiastes 6:2

A man to whom God giveth riches and gains and honour, so that nothing doth he lack for his soul - of all that he craveth, and yet God doth not give him power to eat thereof, but, a man unknown, eateth it, - this, was vanity, and, an incurable evil, it was.

Ecclesiastes 11:9

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart gladden thee in the days of thine early manhood, and walk thou - in the ways of thine own heart, and in that which is seen by thine own eyes, - yet know, that, for all these things, will God bring thee into judgment.

Jeremiah 2:20

For, in age-past time, I brake thy yoke, I tare off thy fetters, And thou saidst, I will not transgress, - Nevertheless, on every high hill, and under every green tree, wast thou lying down as an unchaste woman.

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

International Standard Version Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation.

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