Parallel Verses

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.

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

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 has the wise more than the fool? what has the poor, who knows to walk before the living? 9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and grasping after the wind. 10 Whatever has been is named already, and it is known that this is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.


Cross References

Ecclesiastes 1:14

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and like grasping the wind.

Job 31:7

If my step has turned out of the way, and my heart walked after my eyes, and if any spot has cleaved to my hands;

Proverbs 30:15-16

The leach has two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:

Ecclesiastes 1:2

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 2:11

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had made, and on the labor that I had expended on it: and, behold, all was vanity and like grasping the wind, and there was no profit under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-24

For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart, with which he has labored under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

Ecclesiastes 4:4

Again, I considered all toil, and every skillful work, that for this a man is envied by his neighbor. This is also vanity and grasping after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 5:18

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and fitting for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he takes under the sun all the days of his life, which God gives him: for this is his lot.

Ecclesiastes 6:2

A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him not power to eat of it, but a stranger eats it: this is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.

Ecclesiastes 11:9

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

Jeremiah 2:20

For from of old I have broken your yoke, and burst your bands; and you said, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree you wander, playing the harlot.

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