Ecclesiastes 2:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king's successor do than 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
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

For what can the man do that cometh after the king? - I have examined every thing proposed by science, by maddening pleasure, and by more refined and regulated mirth. I seized on the whole, and used them to the uttermost; and so far, that none ever shall be able to exceed me; as none can, in the course of things, ever have such power and means of gratification.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

i turned

Ecclesiastes 1:17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 7:25 I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly...

even that which hath already been done

Ecclesiastes 2:25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?

Library
Of Spiritual Aridity
Of Spiritual Aridity Though God hath no other desire than to impart Himself to the loving soul that seeks Him, yet He frequently conceals Himself that the soul may be roused from sloth, and impelled to seek Him with fidelity and love. But with what abundant goodness doth He recompense the faithfulness of His beloved? And how sweetly are these apparent withdrawings of Himself succeeded by the consoling caresses of love? At these seasons we are apt to believe, either that it proves our fidelity, and
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

Introduction to the "Theological" Orations.
"It has been said with truth," says the writer of the Article on Gregory of Nazianzus in the Dictionary of Christian Biography, "that these discourses would lose their chief charm in a translation....Critics have rivalled each other in the praises they have heaped upon them, but no praise is so high as that of the many Theologians who have found in them their own best thoughts. A Critic who cannot be accused of partiality towards Gregory has given in a few words perhaps the truest estimate of them:
St. Cyril of Jerusalem—Lectures of S. Cyril of Jerusalem

James the Brother of the Lord.
He pistis choris ergon nekra estin.--James 2:26 Sources. I. Genuine sources: Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; 1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 1:19; 2:9, 12. Comp. James "the brother of the Lord," Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Gal. 1:19. The Epistle of James. II. Post-apostolic: Josephus: Ant. XX. 9, 1.--Hegesippus in Euseb. Hist. Ecc. II. ch. 23.--Jerome: Catal. vir. ill. c. 2, under "Jacobus." Epiphanius, Haer. XXIX. 4; XXX. 16; LXXVIII. 13 sq. III. Apocryphal: Protevangelium Jacobi, ed. in Greek by Tischendorf, in "Evangelia
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

"And These Things Write we unto You, that Your Joy May be Full. "
1 John i. 4.--"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." All motions tend to rest and quietness. We see it daily in the motions below, and we believe it also of the circular revolutions of the heavens above, that there is a day coming in which they shall cease, as having performed all they were appointed for. And as it is in things natural, so it is in things rational in a more eminent way. Their desires, affections, and actions, which are the motions and stretches of the soul
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 1:9
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:10
Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

Ecclesiastes 1:17
Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 3:15
Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.

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