And I set my mind to seek and explore by [man’s] wisdom all [human activity] that has been done under heaven. It is a miserable business and a burdensome task which God has given the sons of men with which to be busy and distressed.
And I applied myself by heart and mind to seek and search out by [human] wisdom all human activity under heaven. It is a miserable business which God has given to the sons of man with which to busy themselves.
I ·decided [devoted myself] to use my wisdom to ·learn [explore] about everything that happens ·on earth [L under heaven; v. 3]. I learned that God has given ·us terrible things to face [or the human race an evil/unhappy task to keep us occupied].
I, the Preacher, was king of Israel, living in Jerusalem. And I applied myself to search for understanding about everything in the universe. I discovered that the lot of man, which God has dealt to him, is not a happy one. It is all foolishness, chasing the wind. What is wrong cannot be righted; it is water over the dam; and there is no use thinking of what might have been.
Call me “the Quester.” I’ve been king over Israel in Jerusalem. I looked most carefully into everything, searched out all that is done on this earth. And let me tell you, there’s not much to write home about. God hasn’t made it easy for us. I’ve seen it all and it’s nothing but smoke—smoke, and spitting into the wind.
and I purposed in my soul to seek and ensearch wisely of all things, that be made under the sun. God gave this evil occupation to the sons of men, that they should be occupied therein. (and I purposed in my mind to wisely seek out and to search into everything, that is done under the sun. God gave this difficult task to the sons and daughters of men, so that they would be occupied with it.)
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