Ecclesiastes 1:7
New International Version
All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

New Living Translation
Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.

English Standard Version
All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.

Berean Study Bible
All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full; to the place from which the streams come, there again they flow.

King James Bible
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

New King James Version
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again.

New American Standard Bible
All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again.

NASB 1995
All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again.

NASB 1977
All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again.

Amplified Bible
All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again.

Christian Standard Bible
All the streams flow to the sea, yet the sea is never full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
All the streams flow to the sea, yet the sea is never full. The streams are flowing to the place, and they flow there again.

American Standard Version
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place whither the rivers go, thither they go again.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
All rivers run sea into the sea and the sea is not filled. The place to which the torrents depart, there they return

Brenton Septuagint Translation
All the rivers run into the sea; and yet the sea is not filled: to the place whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

Contemporary English Version
All rivers empty into the sea, but it never spills over; one by one the rivers return to their source.

Douay-Rheims Bible
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea doth not overflow: unto the place from whence the rivers come, they return, to flow again.

English Revised Version
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place whither the rivers go, thither they go again.

Good News Translation
Every river flows into the sea, but the sea is not yet full. The water returns to where the rivers began, and starts all over again.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
All streams flow into the sea, but the sea is never full. The water goes back to the place where the streams began in order to [start] flowing again.

International Standard Version
All the rivers flow toward the sea, but the sea is never full; then rivers return to the headwaters where they began.

JPS Tanakh 1917
All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; Unto the place whither the rivers go, Thither they go again.

Literal Standard Version
All the streams are going to the sea, and the sea is not full; to a place to where the streams are going, there they are turning back to go.

NET Bible
All the streams flow into the sea, but the sea is not full, and to the place where the streams flow, there they will flow again.

New Heart English Bible
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.

World English Bible
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.

Young's Literal Translation
All the streams are going unto the sea, and the sea is not full; unto a place whither the streams are going, thither they are turning back to go.

Additional Translations ...
Context
Everything is Futile
6The wind blows southward, then turns northward; round and round it swirls, ever returning on its course. 7All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full; to the place from which the streams come, there again they flow. 8All things are wearisome, more than one can describe; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing.…

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:6
The wind blows southward, then turns northward; round and round it swirls, ever returning on its course.

Ecclesiastes 1:8
All things are wearisome, more than one can describe; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing.


Treasury of Scripture

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; to the place from where the rivers come, thither they return again.

the rivers run

Job 38:10,11
And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, …

Psalm 104:6-9
Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains…

return again









(7) Whence the rivers come.--Better, whither the rivers go. (Comp. Ecclesiasticus 40:11.)

Verse 7. - All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full. Here is another instance of unvarying operation producing no tangible result. The phenomenon mentioned is often the subject of remark and speculation in classical authors. Commentators cite Aristophanes, 'Clouds,' 1293 -

Αὕτη μὲν (sc. ἡ θάλαττα) οὐδὲν γίγνεται Ἐπιῥῤεόντων τῶν ποταμῶν πλείων,

"The sea, though all the rivers flow therein,
Waxeth no greater."
Lucretius attempts to account for the fact,
De Rer. Nat.,' 6:608 -

"Nunc ratio reddunda, augmen quin nesciat sequor.
Principio mare mirantur non reddere majus
Naturam, quo sit tantus decursus aquarum,
Omnia quo veniant ex omni fiumina parte."
This Dr. Busby thus versifies -

"Now in due order, Muse, proceed to show
Why the deep seas no augmentation know,
In ocean that such numerous streams discharge
Their waters, yet that ocean ne'er enlarge," etc.
No particular sea is intended, though some have fancied that the peculiarities of the Dead Sea gave occasion to the thought in the text. Doubtless the idea is general, and such as would strike every observer, however little he might trouble himself with the reason of the circumstance (comp. Ecclus. 40:11). Unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again; rather, unto the place whither the rivers go, thither they go again. As Wright and Delitzsch observe, שָׁם after verbs of motion has often the signification of שָׁמָּה; and the idea is that the streams continue to make their way into the sea with ceaseless iteration. The other rendering, which is supported by the Vulgate undo, seems rather to favor the Epicurean poet's solution of the phenomenon. Lucretius, in the passage cited above, explains that the amount of water contributed by rivers is a mere drop in the ocean; that a vast quantity rises in exhalations and is spread far and wide over the earth; and that another large portion finds its way back through the pores of the ground to the bed of the sea. Plumptre considers that this theory was known to Koheleth, and was introduced by him here. The rendering which we have given above would make this opinion untenable; it likewise excludes the idea (though that, indeed, may have been entertained by the Hebrews, Psalm 109:10 and Proverbs 8:28) of the clouds being produced by the sea and feeding the springs. Thus Ecclus. 40:11, "All things that are of the earth do turn to the earth again; and that which is of the waters doth return into the sea."

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
All
כָּל־ (kāl-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3605: The whole, all, any, every

the rivers
הַנְּחָלִים֙ (han·nə·ḥā·lîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 5158: A stream, a winter torrent, a, valley, a shaft

flow
הֹלְכִ֣ים (hō·lə·ḵîm)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 1980: To go, come, walk

into
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

the sea,
הַיָּ֔ם (hay·yām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3220: A sea, the Mediterranean Sea, large river, an artifical basin

yet the sea
וְהַיָּ֖ם (wə·hay·yām)
Conjunctive waw, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3220: A sea, the Mediterranean Sea, large river, an artifical basin

is never
אֵינֶ֣נּוּ (’ê·nen·nū)
Adverb | third person masculine singular
Strong's 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

full;
מָלֵ֑א (mā·lê)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 4392: Full, filling, fulness, fully

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

the place
מְק֗וֹם (mə·qō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 4725: A standing, a spot, a condition

from which the streams
שֶׁ֤הַנְּחָלִים֙ (še·han·nə·ḥā·lîm)
Pronoun - relative, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 5158: A stream, a winter torrent, a, valley, a shaft

come,
הֹֽלְכִ֔ים (hō·lə·ḵîm)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 1980: To go, come, walk

there
שָׁ֛ם (šām)
Adverb
Strong's 8033: There, then, thither

again
שָׁבִ֖ים (šā·ḇîm)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 7725: To turn back, in, to retreat, again

they
הֵ֥ם (hêm)
Pronoun - third person masculine plural
Strong's 1992: They

flow.
לָלָֽכֶת׃ (lā·lā·ḵeṯ)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 1980: To go, come, walk


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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)
Ecclesiastes 1:6
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