New International Version
Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
King James Bible
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
Darby Bible Translation
Better is the seeing of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and pursuit of the wind.
World English Bible
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.
Young's Literal Translation
Better is the sight of the eyes than the going of the soul. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ecclesiastes 6:9 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire - This is translated by the Vulgate, as a sort of adage: Melius est videre quod cupias, quam desiderare quod nescias, "It is better to see what one desires than to covet what one knows not." It is better to enjoy the present than to feed one's self with vain desires of the future. What we translate the wandering of desire, מהלך נפש mehaloch nephesh, is the travelling of the soul. What is this? Does it simply mean desire? Or is there any reference here to the state of separate spirits! It however shows the soul to be in a restless state, and consequently to be unhappy. If Christ dwell in the heart by faith, the soul is then at rest, and this is properly the rest of the people of God.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
wandering of the desire
i. editions of chrysostom's works. S. Joannis Chrysostomi, archiepiscopi Constantinopolitani, Opera omnia quæ exstant vel quæ ejus nomine circumferuntur, ad mss. codices Gallicos, Vaticanos, Anglicos, Germanicosque castigata, etc. Opera et studio D.Bernardi de Montfaucon, monachi ordinis S. Benedicti e congregatione S. Mauri, opem ferentibus aliis ex codem sodalitio, monachis. Greek and Latin, Paris, 1718-'38, in 13 vols., fol. This is the best edition, and the result of about twenty …
St. Chrysostom—On the Priesthood
Thoughts Upon Worldly Riches. Sect. I.
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
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.
You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
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