New International Version
This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes."
King James Bible
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
Darby Bible Translation
Only see this which I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many devices.
World English Bible
Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they search for many schemes."
Young's Literal Translation
See, this alone I have found, that God made man upright, and they -- they have sought out many devices.
Ecclesiastes 7:29 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright - Whatever evil may be now found among men and women, it is not of God; for God made them all upright. This is a singular verse, and has been most variously translated:
עשה האלהים את האדם ישר והמה בקשו חשבנות רבים asah haelohim eth haadam yashar vehemhah bikkeshu chishbonoth rabbim.
"Elohim has made mankind upright, and they have sought many computations."
"He hath meddled with endless questions." - Vulgate.
"Many reasonings." - Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic.
"They seek dyverse sotylties." Coverdale.
And he himself mengide with questions without eend. - Old MS. Bible.
The Targum considers the text as speaking of Adam and Eve.
"This have I found out, that the Lord made the first man upright before him, and innocent: but the serpent and Eve seduced him to eat of the fruit of the tree, which gave the power to those who ate of it to discern between good and evil; and was the cause that death came upon him, and all the inhabitants of the earth; and they sought that they might find out many stratagems to bring this evil upon all the inhabitants of the world."
I doubt much whether the word חשבנות chishbonoth should be taken in a bad sense. It may signify the whole of human devices, imaginations, inventions, artifice, with all their products; arts, sciences, schemes, plans, and all that they have found out for the destruction or melioration of life. God has given man wondrous faculties; and of them he has made strange uses, and sovereign abuses: and they have been, in consequence, at one time his help, and at another his bane. This is the fair way of understanding this question.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryFinis Coronat Opus
'Better is the end of a thing than the beginning.'--ECCLES. vii. 8. This Book of Ecclesiastes is the record of a quest after the chief good. The Preacher tries one thing after another, and tells his experiences. Amongst these are many blunders. It is the final lesson which he would have us learn, not the errors through which he reached it. 'The conclusion of the whole matter' is what he would commend to us, and to it he cleaves his way through a number of bitter exaggerations and of partial truths …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Eusebius' Accession to the Bishopric of Cæsarea.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person's wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance.
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