New American Standard Bible
So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done?
King James Bible
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
Darby Bible Translation
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly; for what shall the man do that cometh after the king? that which hath already been done.
World English Bible
I turned myself to consider wisdom, madness, and folly: for what can the king's successor do? Just that which has been done long ago.
Young's Literal Translation
And I turned to see wisdom, and madness, and folly, but what is the man who cometh after the king? that which is already -- they have done it!
Ecclesiastes 2:12 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Solomon having found that wisdom and folly agree in being subject to vanity, now contrasts one with the other Ecclesiastes 2:13. Both are brought under vanity by events Ecclesiastes 2:14 which come on the wise man and the feel alike from without - death and oblivion Ecclesiastes 2:16, uncertainty Ecclesiastes 2:19, disappointment Ecclesiastes 2:21 - all happening by an external law beyond human control. Amidst this vanity, the good (see Ecclesiastes 2:10 note) that accrues to man, is the pleasure felt Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 in receiving God's gifts, and in working with and for them.
What can the man do ... - i. e., "What is any man - in this study of wisdom and folly - after one like me, who, from my position, have had such special advantages (see Ecclesiastes 1:16, and compare Ecclesiastes 2:25) for carrying it on? That which man did of old he can but do again: he is not likely to add to the result of my researches, nor even to equal them." Some hold that the "man" is a reference to Solomon's successor - not in his inquiries, but in his kingdom, i. e., Jeroboam.
LibraryChronology of the Life of Ephraim.
Thus the fixed points for determining the chronology of Ephraim's life are: 1. The death of his patron, St. Jacob, Bishop of Nisibis, in 338, after the first siege of that city. 2. The third siege, in which he was among the defenders of the city, in 350. 3. The surrender of Nisibis by Jovian, and its abandonment by its Christian inhabitants, 363; followed by Ephraim's removal to Edessa. 4. The consecration of Basil to the see of Cæsarea, late in 370, followed by Ephraim's visit to him there. …
Ephraim the Syrian—Hymns and Homilies of Ephraim the Syrian
Whether the Church Observes a Suitable Rite in Baptizing?
Lii. Concerning Hypocrisy, Worldly Anxiety, Watchfulness, and his Approaching Passion.
Messiah's Easy Yoke
That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one might say, "See this, it is new "? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us.
And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.
That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.
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