New Living Translation
Endless crowds stand around him, but then another generation grows up and rejects him, too. So it is all meaningless--like chasing the wind.
King James Bible
There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Darby Bible Translation
There is no end of all the people, of all that stood before them; those however that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after the wind.
World English Bible
There was no end of all the people, even of all them over whom he was--yet those who come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a chasing after wind.
Young's Literal Translation
there is no end to all the people, to all who were before them; also, the latter rejoice not in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ecclesiastes 4:16 Parallel
CommentaryWesley's Notes on the Bible
4:16 No end - This humour of the common people hath no end, but passes from one generation to another. Before them - Before the present generation. And so here are three generations of people noted, the authors of the present change, and their parents, and their children; and all are observed to have the same inclinations. In him - They shall be as weary of the successor, though a wise and worthy prince, as their parents were of his foolish predecessor.
It is not surprising that the book of Ecclesiastes had a struggle to maintain its place in the canon, and it was probably only its reputed Solomonic authorship and the last two verses of the book that permanently secured its position at the synod of Jamnia in 90 A.D. The Jewish scholars of the first century A.D. were struck by the manner in which it contradicted itself: e.g., "I praised the dead more than the living," iv. 2, "A living dog is better than a dead lion," ix. 4; but they were still more …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless--like chasing the wind.
But then everyone rushes to the side of yet another youth who replaces him.
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