Parallel Verses

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.

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.

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.

The Emphasized Bible

Better what the eyes behold, than the wandering of desire, - even this, was vanity, and a feeding on 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 advantage has the wise person over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have in knowing how to face life? 9 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. 10 Whatever exists has been named already; people know what it means to be human and a person cannot defeat one who is more powerful than he.


Cross References

Ecclesiastes 1:14

I observed every activity done on earth. My conclusion: all of it is pointless like chasing after the wind.

Job 31:7

If I have stepped away from the way, or if my heart covets whatever my eyes see, or if some other blemish clings to my hands,

Proverbs 30:15-16

The leech has two daughters: "Give" and "Give". Three things will never be satisfied; four will never say "Enough" -

Ecclesiastes 1:2

"Utterly pointless," says the Teacher. "Absolutely pointless; everything is pointless."

Ecclesiastes 2:11

Then I examined all of my accomplishments that I had brought about by my own efforts, including the work that I had labored so hard to complete and it was all pointless, like chasing after the wind, and there was nothing to be gained on earth.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-24

For what does a person gain from everything that he accomplishes and from his inner life struggles that he undergoes while working on earth?

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

I have concluded that the only worthwhile thing for them is to take pleasure in doing good in life;

Ecclesiastes 4:4

Then I examined all sorts of work, including all kinds of excellent achievements that create envy in others. This also is pointless and chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 5:18

Look! I observed that it is good and prudent to eat, drink, and enjoy all that is good of a person's work that he does on earth during the limited days of his life, which God gives him, for this is his allotment.

Ecclesiastes 6:2

a man to whom God gives wealth, riches, and honor, so that he lacks none of his heart's desires but God does not give him the capability to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger consumes them. This is pointless and a grievous affliction.

Ecclesiastes 11:9

So enjoy yourself in your youth, young man, and be encouraged during your younger days. Live as you like, consistent with your world view, but keep in mind that God will bring you to account for everything.

Jeremiah 2:20

"For long ago I broke your yoke and tore off your bonds, But you said, "I won't serve you!' Instead, on every high hill and under every green tree, you bend down to commit fornication.

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