Ecclesiastes 7:24
New International Version
Whatever exists is far off and most profound— who can discover it?

New Living Translation
Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find.

English Standard Version
That which has been is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out?

Berean Study Bible
What exists is out of reach and very deep. Who can fathom it?

King James Bible
That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?

New King James Version
As for that which is far off and exceedingly deep, Who can find it out?

New American Standard Bible
What has been is remote and very mysterious. Who can discover it?

NASB 1995
What has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it?

NASB 1977
What has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it?

Amplified Bible
Whatever has been is far off, deeply remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it [for it is beyond the grasp of man]?

Christian Standard Bible
What exists is beyond reach and very deep. Who can discover it?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What exists is beyond reach and very deep. Who can discover it?

American Standard Version
That which is, is far off and exceeding deep; who can find it out?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Beyond all that is distant and the depth of depths; who will find it?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
That which is far beyond what was, and a great depth, who shall find it out?

Contemporary English Version
The truth is beyond us. It's far too deep.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Much more than it was: it is a great depth, who shall find it out?

English Revised Version
That which is is far off, and exceeding deep; who can find it out?

Good News Translation
How can anyone discover what life means? It is too deep for us, too hard to understand.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Whatever wisdom may be, it is out of reach. It is deep, very deep. Who can find out what it is?

International Standard Version
Whatever it is, it's far off and most profound. Who can attain it?

JPS Tanakh 1917
That which is is far off, and exceeding deep; who can find it out?

Literal Standard Version
Far off [is] that which has been, and deep, deep, who finds it?

NET Bible
Whatever has happened is beyond human understanding; it is far deeper than anyone can fathom.

New Heart English Bible
That which is, is far off and exceedingly deep. Who can find it out?

World English Bible
That which is, is far off and exceedingly deep. Who can find it out?

Young's Literal Translation
Far off is that which hath been, and deep, deep, who doth find it?

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Limits of Human Wisdom
23All this I tested by wisdom, saying, “I resolve to be wise.” But it was beyond me. 24What exists is out of reach and very deep. Who can fathom it? 25I directed my mind to understand, to explore, to search out wisdom and explanations, and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the folly of madness.…

Cross References
Romans 11:33
O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways!

Job 11:7
Can you fathom the deep things of God or discover the limits of the Almighty?

Job 28:12
But where can wisdom be found, and where does understanding dwell?

Job 37:23
The Almighty is beyond our reach; He is exalted in power! In His justice and great righteousness He does not oppress.

Ecclesiastes 8:17
I saw every work of God, and that a man is unable to comprehend the work that is done under the sun. Despite his efforts to search it out, he cannot find its meaning; even if the wise man claims to know, he is unable to comprehend.


Treasury of Scripture

That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?

Deuteronomy 30:11-14
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off…

Job 11:7,8
Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? …

Job 28:12-23,28
But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? …









(24) Rather translate, "That which is, is far off." The phrase, "that which is," or "hath been," to denote the existing constitution of the universe, occurs in Ecclesiastes 1:9, Ecclesiastes 3:15. (See Ecclesiastes 8:17.)

Verse 24. - That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out? The broken, interjectional style of the original in this passage, as Professor Taylor Lewis terms it, is better brought out by translating, "Far off is that which is, and deep, deep: who can find it out?" Professor Lewis renders, "Far off! the past, what is it? Deep - a deep - oh, who can find?" and explains "the past" to mean, not merely the earthly past historically unknown, but the great past before the creation of the universe, the kingdom of all eternities with its ages of ages, its worlds of worlds, its mighty evolutions, its infinite variety. We prefer to retain the rendering, "that which is," and to refer the expression to the phenomenal world. It is not the essence of wisdom that is spoken of, but the facts of man's life and the circumstances in which he finds himself, the course of the world, the phenomena of nature, etc. These things - their causes, connection, interdependence - we cannot explain satisfactorily (comp. Ecclesiastes 3:11; Ecclesiastes 8:17). In the Book of Wisdom (7:17-21) Solomon is supposed to have arrived at this abstruse knowledge, "for," he says, "God hath given me certain knowledge of the things that are (τῶν ὄντων γνῶσιν ἀψευδῆ)," and he proceeds to enumerate the various departments which this "universitas literarum" has opened to him. The Septuagint (and virtually the Vulgate) connects this verse with the preceding, thus: . 'I said, I will be wise, and it (αὔτη) was far from me, far beyond what was (μακρὰν ὑπὲρ ο{ η΅ν), and deep depth: who shall find it out?" (For the epithet "deep" applied to what is recondite or what is beyond human comprehension, comp. Proverbs 20:5; Job 11:8.)

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
What
מַה־ (mah-)
Interrogative
Strong's 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

exists
שֶּׁהָיָ֑ה (še·hā·yāh)
Pronoun - relative | Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

is out of reach
רָח֖וֹק (rā·ḥō·wq)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 7350: Remote, of place, time, precious

and very deep.
וְעָמֹ֥ק ׀ (wə·‘ā·mōq)
Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 6013: Deep

Who
מִ֥י (mî)
Interrogative
Strong's 4310: Who?, whoever, in oblique construction with prefix, suffix

can fathom it?
יִמְצָאֶֽנּוּ׃ (yim·ṣā·’en·nū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's 4672: To come forth to, appear, exist, to attain, find, acquire, to occur, meet, be present


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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 7:24 That which is is far off (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)
Ecclesiastes 7:23
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