Ecclesiastes 4:6
New International Version
Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

New Living Translation
And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”

English Standard Version
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

Berean Study Bible
Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and pursuit of the wind.

New American Standard Bible
One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.

King James Bible
Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

Christian Standard Bible
Better one handful with rest than two handfuls with effort and a pursuit of the wind.

Contemporary English Version
Yet a very little food eaten in peace is better than twice as much earned from overwork and chasing the wind.

Good News Translation
Maybe so, but it is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Better one handful with rest than two handfuls with effort and a pursuit of the wind.

International Standard Version
It's better to have one handful of tranquility than to have two handfuls of trouble and to chase after the wind.

NET Bible
Better is one handful with some rest than two hands full of toil and chasing the wind.

New Heart English Bible
Better is a handful, with quietness, than two handfuls with labor and chasing after wind.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
One handful of peace and quiet is better than two handfuls of hard work and of trying to catch the wind.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Better is a handful of quietness, Than both the hands full of labour and striving after wind.

New American Standard 1977
One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Better is a handful with rest than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

King James 2000 Bible
Better is a handful with quietness, than both hands full with toil and grasping for the wind.

American King James Version
Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

American Standard Version
Better is a handful, with quietness, than two handfuls with labor and striving after wind.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of trouble and waywardness of spirit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Better is a handful with rest, than both hands full with labour, and vexation of mind.

Darby Bible Translation
Better is a handful with quietness, than both hands full with labour and pursuit of the wind.

English Revised Version
Better is an handful with quietness, than two handfuls with labour and striving after wind.

Webster's Bible Translation
Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with toil and vexation of spirit.

World English Bible
Better is a handful, with quietness, than two handfuls with labor and chasing after wind.

Young's Literal Translation
Better is a handful with quietness, than two handfuls with labour and vexation of spirit.'
Study Bible
The Evil of Oppression
5The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh. 6Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and pursuit of the wind. 7Again, I saw futility under the sun.…
Cross References
Proverbs 15:16
Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure with turmoil.

Proverbs 15:17
Better a dish of vegetables where there is love than a fattened ox with hatred.

Proverbs 16:8
Better a little with righteousness than great gain with injustice.

Ecclesiastes 1:17
So I set my mind to know wisdom and madness and folly; I learned that this, too, is a pursuit of the wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:7
Again, I saw futility under the sun.

Treasury of Scripture

Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

Psalm 37:16
A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

Proverbs 15:16,17
Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith…

Proverbs 16:8
Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.







Lexicon
Better
ט֕וֹב (ṭō·wḇ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

one handful
מְלֹ֥א (mə·lō)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4393: Fullness, that which fills

with tranquility
נָ֑חַת (nā·ḥaṯ)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5183: A descent, imposition, unfavorable, favorable, restfulness

than two handfuls
מִמְּלֹ֥א (mim·mə·lō)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4393: Fullness, that which fills

with toil
עָמָ֖ל (‘ā·māl)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5999: Toil, wearing effort, worry, wheth, of body, mind

and pursuit
וּרְע֥וּת (ū·rə·‘ūṯ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 7469: A feeding upon, grasping after

of the wind.
רֽוּחַ׃ (rū·aḥ)
Noun - common singular
Strong's Hebrew 7307: Wind, breath, exhalation, life, anger, unsubstantiality, a region of the sky, spirit
Verse 6. - Better is a handful with quietness; literally, better a hand full of rest. Than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit; literally, than two hands full of travail, etc. This verse, which has been variously interpreted, is most simply regarded as the fool's defense of his indolence, either expressed in his own words or fortified by a proverbial saying. One open hand full of quietness and rest is preferable to two closed hands full of toil and vain effort. The verse must not be taken as the writer's warning against sloth, which would be out of place here, but as enunciating a maxim against discontent and that restless activity which is never satisfied with moderate returns. 4:4-6 Solomon notices the sources of trouble peculiar to well-doers, and includes all who labour with diligence, and whose efforts are crowned with success. They often become great and prosperous, but this excites envy and opposition. Others, seeing the vexations of an active course, foolishly expect more satisfaction in sloth and idleness. But idleness is a sin that is its own punishment. Let us by honest industry lay hold on the handful, that we may not want necessaries, but not grasp at both hands full, which would only create vexation of spirit. Moderate pains and gains do best.
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