Ecclesiastes 8:17
Modern Translations
New International Version
then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.

New Living Translation
I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.

English Standard Version
then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.

Berean Study Bible
I saw every work of God, and that a man is unable to comprehend the work that is done under the sun. Despite his efforts to search it out, he cannot find its meaning; even if the wise man claims to know, he is unable to comprehend.

New American Standard Bible
and I saw every work of God, I concluded that one cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though a person laboriously seeks, he will not discover; and even if the wise person claims to know, he cannot discover.

NASB 1995
and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, "I know," he cannot discover.

NASB 1977
and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover.

Amplified Bible
and I saw all the work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though man may labor in seeking, he will not discover; and [more than that], though a wise man thinks and claims he knows, he will not be able to find it out.

Christian Standard Bible
I observed all the work of God and concluded that a person is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though a person labors hard to explore it, he cannot find it; even if a wise person claims to know it, he is unable to discover it.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I observed all the work of God and concluded that man is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though a man labors hard to explore it, he cannot find it; even if the wise man claims to know it, he is unable to discover it.

Contemporary English Version
I saw everything God does, and I realized no one can really understand what happens. We may be very wise, but no matter how much we try or how much we claim to know, we cannot understand it all.

Good News Translation
and never be able to understand what God is doing. However hard you try, you will never find out. The wise may claim to know, but they don't.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
then I saw everything that God has done. No one is able to grasp the work that is done under the sun. However hard a person may search for it, he will not find [its meaning]. Even though a wise person claims to know, he is not able to grasp it.

International Standard Version
I saw all of it as the activity of God. Frankly, a human being cannot understand what happens on earth, because however hard a man works to discover it, he will not find out. Despite what he thinks he knows, he will not be able to figure it out.

NET Bible
then I discerned all that God has done: No one really comprehends what happens on earth. Despite all human efforts to discover it, no one can ever grasp it. Even if a wise person claimed that he understood, he would not really comprehend it.
Classic Translations
King James Bible
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

New King James Version
then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.

King James 2000 Bible
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labors to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea moreover; though a wise man thinks to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

New Heart English Bible
then I saw all the work of God, that man can't find out the work that is done under the sun, because however much a man labors to seek it out, yet he won't find it. Yes even though a wise man thinks he can comprehend it, he won't be able to find it.

World English Bible
then I saw all the work of God, that man can't find out the work that is done under the sun, because however much a man labors to seek it out, yet he won't find it. Yes even though a wise man thinks he can comprehend it, he won't be able to find it.

American King James Version
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yes farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

American Standard Version
then I beheld all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however much a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea moreover, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

A Faithful Version
Then I looked at all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun; because though a man labors to seek it out, yet he shall not find it. Yea, further, though a wise man thinks to know it, yet he shall not be able to find it.

Darby Bible Translation
then I saw that all [is] the work of God, [and] that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however man may labour to seek [it] out, yet doth he not find [it]; and even, if a wise [man] think to know [it], he shall not be able to find [it] out.

English Revised Version
then I beheld all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however much a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea moreover, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man may labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yes further; though a wise man thinketh to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Early Modern
Geneva Bible of 1587
Then I behelde the whole worke of God, that man cannot finde out ye worke that is wrought vnder the sunne: for the which man laboureth to seeke it, and cannot finde it: yea, and though the wise man thinke to knowe it, he cannot finde it.

Bishops' Bible of 1568
I vnderstoode of all the workes of God, but it is not possible for a man to attayne vnto the workes that are done vnder the sunne: and though he bestowe his labour to seeke them out, yet can he not reach vnto them: yea though a wyse man would vndertake to know them, yet shall he not finde them.

Coverdale Bible of 1535
I vnderstode of all ye workes of God, that it is not possible for a man, to attayne vnto ye workes that are done vnder ye Sonne: and though he bestowe his laboure to seke them out, yet can he not reach vnto the: yee though a wyse man wolde vndertake to knowe them, yet might he not fynde them.
Literal Translations
Literal Standard Version
then I considered all the work of God, that man is not able to find out the work that has been done under the sun, because though man labor to seek, yet he does not find; and even though the wise man speak of knowing he is not able to find.

Young's Literal Translation
then I considered all the work of God, that man is not able to find out the work that hath been done under the sun, because though man labour to seek, yet he doth not find; and even though the wise man speak of knowing he is not able to find.

Smith's Literal Translation
And I saw all the work of God, that no man shall be able to find out the work that was done under the sun in whatsoever a man shall labor to seek out, and he shall not find: and also if the wise one shall say to know, he shall not be able to find.

Catholic Translations
Douay-Rheims Bible
And I understood that man can find no reason of all those works of God that are done under the sun: and the more he shall labour to seek, so much the less shall he find: yea, though the wise man shall say, that he knoweth it, he shall not be able to find it.

Catholic Public Domain Version
And I understood that man is able to find no explanation for all those works of God which are done under the sun. And so, the more that he labors to seek, so much the less does he find. Yes, even if a wise man were to claim that he knows, he would not be able to discover it.

Translations from Aramaic
Peshitta Holy Bible Translated
And I have seen all the work of God, for a son of man will not master the work that is done under the sun. All that a son of man toils that he may seek he will not find, and none who will claim to know The Wise One will be able to find

Lamsa Bible
Then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work which is done under the sun; all that a man may labor to seek out, yet he will not find it; and whosoever says that he is wise yet will not be able to find it.

OT Translations
JPS Tanakh 1917
then I beheld all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun; because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And I beheld all the works of God, that a man shall not be able to discover the work which is wrought under the sun; whatsoever things a man shall endeavour to seek, however a man may labour to seek it, yet he shall not find it; yea, how much soever a wise man may speak of knowing it, he shall not be able to find it: for I applied all this to my heart, and my heart has seen all this.








Ecclesiastes 8:16
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