Ecclesiastes 6:12 {7:1}
Good News Translation
How can anyone know what is best for us in this short, useless life of ours--a life that passes like a shadow? How can we know what will happen in the world after we die?

Contemporary English Version
Life is short and meaningless, and it fades away like a shadow. Who knows what is best for us? Who knows what will happen after we are gone?

Douay-Rheims Bible
What needeth a man to seek things that are above him, whereas he knoweth not what is profitable for him in his life, in all the days of his pilgrimage, and the time that passeth like a shadow? Or who can tell him what shall be after him under the sun?

New American Bible
For who knows what is good for mortals in life, the limited days of their vain life, spent like a shadow? Because who can tell them what will come afterward under the sun?

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

What needeth a man to seek things that are above him, whereas he knoweth not what is profitable for him in his life, in all the days of his pilgrimage, and the time that passeth like a shadow? Or who can tell him what shall be after him under the sun?

who knoweth

Ecclesiastes 2:3 I thought in my heart, to withdraw my flesh from wine, that I might turn my mind to wisdom, and might avoid folly, till I might see what was profitable for the children of men: and what they ought to do under the sun, all the days of their life.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us all hear together the conclusion of the discourse. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man:

Psalm 4:6 The light of thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us: thou hast given gladness in my heart.

Psalm 16:5 The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: it is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me.

Psalm 17:15 But as for me, I will appear before thy sight in justice: I shall be satisfied when thy glory shall appear.

Psalm 47:4 He hath chosen for us his inheritance, the beauty of Jacob which he hath loved.

Lamentations 3:24-27 Heth. The Lord is my portion, said my soul: therefore will I wait for him. . . .

Micah 6:8 I will shew thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: Verily to do judgment, and to love mercy, and to walk solicitous with thy God.

the days of his vain life

Ecclesiastes 8:13 But let it not be well with the wicked, neither let his days be prolonged, but as a shadow let them pass away that fear not the face of the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 9:6 Their love also, and their hatred, and their envy are all perished, neither have they any part in this world, and in the work that is done under the sun.

1 Chronicles 29:15 For we are sojourners before thee, and strangers, as were all our fathers. I Our days upon earth are as a shadow, and there is no stay.

Job 8:9 (For we are but of yesterday, and are ignorant that our days upon earth are but a shadow)

Job 14:2 Who cometh forth like a flower, and is destroyed, and fleeth as a shadow, and never continueth in the same state.

Psalm 39:5,6 Behold thou hast made my days measurable. and my substance is as nothing before thee. And indeed all things are vanity: every man living. . . .

Psalm 89:47 Remember what my substance is: for hast thou made all the children of men in vain?

Psalm 90:10-12 The days of our years in them are threescore and ten years. But if in the strong they be fourscore years: and what is more of them is labour and sorrow. For mildness is come upon us: and we shall be corrected. . . .

Psalm 102:11 My days have declined like a shadow, and I am withered like grass.

Psalm 109:23 I am taken away like the shadow when it declineth: and I am shaken off as locusts.

Psalm 144:4 Man is like to vanity: his days pass away like a shadow.

James 4:14 Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow.

for who can

Ecclesiastes 3:22 And I have found that nothing is better than for a man to rejoice in his work, and that this is his portion. For who shall bring him to know the things that shall be after him?

Ecclesiastes 8:7 Because he is ignorant of things past, and things to come he cannot know by any messenger.

Job 14:21 Whether his children come to honour or dishonour, he shall not understand.

Context
The Futility of Life
11There are many words that have much vanity in disputing. 12What needeth a man to seek things that are above him, whereas he knoweth not what is profitable for him in his life, in all the days of his pilgrimage, and the time that passeth like a shadow? Or who can tell him what shall be after him under the sun?
Cross References
Psalm 39:5
Behold thou hast made my days measurable. and my substance is as nothing before thee. And indeed all things are vanity: every man living.

Ecclesiastes 2:3
I thought in my heart, to withdraw my flesh from wine, that I might turn my mind to wisdom, and might avoid folly, till I might see what was profitable for the children of men: and what they ought to do under the sun, all the days of their life.

Ecclesiastes 2:24
Is it not better to eat and drink, and to shew his soul good things of his labours? and this is from the hand of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:22
And I have found that nothing is better than for a man to rejoice in his work, and that this is his portion. For who shall bring him to know the things that shall be after him?

Ecclesiastes 6:11
There are many words that have much vanity in disputing.

Ecclesiastes 7:15
These things also I saw in the days of my vanity: A just man perisheth in his justice, and a wicked man liveth a long time in his wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 8:7
Because he is ignorant of things past, and things to come he cannot know by any messenger.

Ecclesiastes 8:13
But let it not be well with the wicked, neither let his days be prolonged, but as a shadow let them pass away that fear not the face of the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 9:9
Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest, all the days of thy unsteady life, which are given to thee under the sun, all the time of thy vanity: for this is thy portion in life, and in thy labour wherewith thou labourest under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 10:14
A fool multiplieth words. A man cannot tell what hath been before him: and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

Additional Translations
For who knows what is good for a man during the few days he passes through his fleeting life like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will come after him under the sun?For who knows what is good for man in this 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?

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?

What advantage has a man? for who knows what is good for a man in his life, during the number of the life of the days of his vanity? and he has spent them as a shadow; for who shall tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?
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