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17 So I loathed[a] life[b] because what
happens[c] on earth[d] seems awful to me;
for all the benefits of wisdom[e] are futile—like chasing the wind.

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  1. Ecclesiastes 2:17 tn Or “I hated.”
  2. Ecclesiastes 2:17 tn The term הַחַיִּים (hakhayyim, “life”) functions as a metonymy of association, that is, that which is associated with life, that is, the profitlessness and futility of human secular achievement.
  3. Ecclesiastes 2:17 tn Heb “the deed that is done.” The root עָשָׂה (ʿasah, “to do”) is repeated in הַמַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה (hammaʿaseh shennaʿasah, “the deed that is done”) for emphasis. Here, the term “deed” does not refer to human accomplishment, as in 2:1-11, but to the fact of death that destroys any relative advantage of wisdom over folly (2:14a-16). Qoheleth metaphorically describes death as a “deed” that is “done” to man.
  4. Ecclesiastes 2:17 tn Heb “under the sun.”
  5. Ecclesiastes 2:17 tn Heb “all,” referring here to the relative advantage of wisdom.