Ecclesiastes 4:1
New International Version
Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed-- and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors-- and they have no comforter.

New Living Translation
Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.

English Standard Version
Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.

Berean Study Bible
Again I looked, and I considered all the oppression taking place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, and they had no comforter; the power lay in the hands of their oppressors, and there was no comforter.

New American Standard Bible
Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

New King James Version
Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter— On the side of their oppressors there is power, But they have no comforter.

King James Bible
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

Christian Standard Bible
Again, I observed all the acts of oppression being done under the sun. Look at the tears of those who are oppressed; they have no one to comfort them. Power is with those who oppress them; they have no one to comfort them.

Contemporary English Version
I looked again and saw people being mistreated everywhere on earth. They were crying, but no one was there to offer comfort, and those who mistreated them were powerful.

Good News Translation
Then I looked again at all the injustice that goes on in this world. The oppressed were crying, and no one would help them. No one would help them, because their oppressors had power on their side.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Again, I observed all the acts of oppression being done under the sun. Look at the tears of those who are oppressed; they have no one to comfort them. Power is with those who oppress them; they have no one to comfort them.

International Standard Version
Next I turned to consider all kinds of oppression that exists on earth. Look at the tears of the oppressed— there is no one to comfort them. Power is on the side of their oppressors; so they have no comforters.

NET Bible
So I again considered all the oppression that continually occurs on earth. This is what I saw: The oppressed were in tears, but no one was comforting them; no one delivers them from the power of their oppressors.

New Heart English Bible
Then I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and look, the tears of those who were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Next, I turned to look at all the acts of oppression that make people suffer under the sun. Look at the tears of those who suffer! No one can comfort them. Their oppressors have [all] the power. No one can comfort those who suffer.

JPS Tanakh 1917
But I returned and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun; and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power, but they had no comforter.

New American Standard 1977
Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
So I returned and considered all the violence that is done under the sun and behold the tears of such as are oppressed, and they have no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but the oppressed had no comforter.

King James 2000 Bible
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

American King James Version
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

American Standard Version
Then I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and, behold, the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
So I returned, and saw all the oppressions that were done under the sun: and behold the tear of the oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of them that oppressed them was power; but they had no comforter:

Douay-Rheims Bible
I turned myself to other things, and I saw the oppressions that are done under the sun, and the tears of the innocent, and they had no comforter; and they were not able to resist their violence, being destitute of help from any.

Darby Bible Translation
And I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors was power, and they had no comforter.

English Revised Version
Then I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold, the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power, but they had no comforter.

Webster's Bible Translation
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

World English Bible
Then I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold, the tears of those who were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

Young's Literal Translation
And I have turned, and I see all the oppressions that are done under the sun, and lo, the tear of the oppressed, and they have no comforter; and at the hand of their oppressors is power, and they have no comforter.
Study Bible
The Evil of Oppression
1Again, I observed all the oppression taking place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, and they had no comforter; the power lay in the hands of their oppressors, and there was no comforter. 2So I admired the dead, who had already died, above the living, who are still alive.…
Cross References
Job 35:9
Men cry out under great oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the mighty.

Psalm 12:5
"For the cause of the oppressed and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the LORD. "I will bring safety to him who yearns."

Ecclesiastes 3:16
Furthermore, I saw under the sun that in the place of judgment there is wickedness, and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 5:8
If you see the oppression of the poor and the denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be astonished at the matter; for one official is watched by a superior, and higher still are over them.

Ecclesiastes 7:7
Surely extortion turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

Ecclesiastes 8:9
All this I have seen, applying my mind to every deed that is done under the sun; there is a time when one man lords it over another to his own detriment.

Isaiah 5:7
For the vineyard of the LORD of Hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the plant of his delight. He looked for justice but saw injustice; for righteousness, but heard a cry of distress.

Jeremiah 16:7
No food will be offered to comfort those who mourn the dead; not even a cup of consolation will be given for the loss of a father or mother.

Lamentations 1:9
Her uncleanness stains her skirts; she did not consider her end. Her downfall was astounding; there was no one to comfort her. Look, O LORD, on my affliction, for the enemy has triumphed!

Lamentations 1:16
For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears. For there is no one nearby to comfort me, no one to revive my soul. My children are destitute because the enemy has prevailed.

Treasury of Scripture

So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

i returned

Job 6:29
Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.

Malachi 3:18
Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

and considered

Ecclesiastes 3:16
And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.

Ecclesiastes 5:8
If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

Ecclesiastes 7:7
Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

the tears

Psalm 42:3,9
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? …

Psalm 80:5
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.

Psalm 102:8,9
Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me…

they had

Job 16:4
I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.

Job 19:21,22
Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me…

Psalm 69:20
Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.







Lexicon
Again,
וְשַׁ֣בְתִּֽי (wə·šaḇ·tî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 7725: To turn back, in, to retreat, again

I
אֲנִ֗י (’ă·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 589: I

observed
וָאֶרְאֶה֙ (wā·’er·’eh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

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

the oppression
עֹֽשְׁקֵיהֶם֙ (‘ō·šə·qê·hem)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6231: To press upon, oppress, defraud, violate, overflow

taking place
נַעֲשִׂ֖ים (na·‘ă·śîm)
Verb - Nifal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make

under
תַּ֣חַת (ta·ḥaṯ)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 8478: The bottom, below, in lieu of

the sun.
הַשָּׁ֑מֶשׁ (haš·šā·meš)
Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's Hebrew 8121: The sun, the east, a ray, a notched battlement

[I] saw
וְהִנֵּ֣ה ׀ (wə·hin·nêh)
Conjunctive waw | Interjection
Strong's Hebrew 2009: Lo! behold!

the tears
דִּמְעַ֣ת (dim·‘aṯ)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1832: Tears (of one weeping)

of the oppressed,
הָעֲשֻׁקִ֗ים (hā·‘ă·šu·qîm)
Article | Verb - Qal - QalPassParticiple - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6217: Oppression, extortion

and they had no
וְאֵ֤ין (wə·’ên)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

comforter;
מְנַחֵ֔ם (mə·na·ḥêm)
Verb - Piel - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5162: To sigh, breathe strongly, to be sorry, to pity, console, rue, to avenge

the power [lay]
כֹּ֔חַ (kō·aḥ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3581: A small reptile (of unknown species)

in the hands [of their oppressors],
וּמִיַּ֤ד (ū·mî·yaḏ)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3027: A hand

and there was no
וְאֵ֥ין (wə·’ên)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

comforter.
מְנַחֵֽם׃ (mə·na·ḥêm)
Verb - Piel - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5162: To sigh, breathe strongly, to be sorry, to pity, console, rue, to avenge
IV.

(1) Having dwelt on the instability of human happiness, the Preacher now turns to contemplate the actual misery of which the world is full.

Oppressions.--Job 35:9; Amos 3:9.

No comforter.--If Solomon were the writer, one asks, What was the king about? Could he do nothing but express helpless despair?

Verses 1-16. - Section 5. Koheleth proceeds to give further illustrations of man's inability to be the architect of his own happiness. There are many things which interrupt or destroy it. Verses 1-3. - First of all, he adduces the oppression of man by his fellow-man. Verse 1. - So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun. This is equivalent to, "again I saw," as ver. 7, with a reference to the wickedness in the place of judgment which he had noticed in Ecclesiastes 3:16. Ashukim, "oppressions," is found in Job 35:9 and Amos 3:9, and, being properly a participle passive, denotes oppressed persons or things, and so abstractedly "oppressions." Τὰς συκοφαντίας (Septuagint); calumnias (Vulgate). The verb is used of high-handed injustice, of offensive selfishness, of the hindrances to his neighbor's well-being caused by a man's careless disregard of aught but his own interests (comp. 1 Samuel 12:4; Hosea 12:8, etc.). Beheld the tears of such as were oppressed; τῶν συκοφαντουμένων (Septuagint); innocentium (Vulgate). He notes now not merely the fact of wrong being done, but its effect on the victim, and intimates his own pity for the sorrow. And they had no comforter. A sad refrain, echoed again at the end of the verse with touching pathos. Οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῖς παρακαλῶν (Septuagint); they had no earthly friends to visit them in their affliction, and they as yet knew not the soothing of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter (Παράκλητος). There was no one to wipe away their tears (Isaiah 25:8) or to redress their wrongs. The point is the powerlessness of man in the face of these disorders, his inability to right himself, the incompetence of others to aid him. On the side of their oppressors there was power (koach), in a bad sense, like the Greek βία equivalent to "violence." Thus the ungodly say, in the Book of Wisdom 2:11, "Let our strength be the law of justice." Vulgate, Nec posse resistere eorun violentiae, cunctorum auxilio destitutes. It is difficult to suppose that the state of things revealed by this verse existed in the days of King Solomon, or that so powerful a monarch, and one admired for "judgment and justice" (1 Kings 10:9), would be content with complaining of such disorders instead of checking them. There is no token of remorse for past unprofitableness or anguish of heart at the thought of failure in duty. If we take the words as the utterance of the real Solomon, we do violence to history, and must correct the existing chronicles of his reign. The picture here presented is one of later times, and it may be of other countries. Persian rule, or the tyranny of the Ptolemies, might afford an original from which it might be taken. 4:1-3 It grieved Solomon to see might prevail against right. Wherever we turn, we see melancholy proofs of the wickedness and misery of mankind, who try to create trouble to themselves and to each other. Being thus hardly used, men are tempted to hate and despise life. But a good man, though badly off while in this world, cannot have cause to wish he had never been born, since he is glorifying the Lord, even in the fires, and will be happy at last, for ever happy. Ungodly men have most cause to wish the continuance of life with all its vexations, as a far more miserable condition awaits them if they die in their sins. If human and worldly things were our chief good, not to exist would be preferable to life, considering the various oppressions here below.
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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 4:1 Then I returned and saw all (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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