Ecclesiastes 8:17
Parallel Verses
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´┐Żit.


New American Standard Bible
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.
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Context
God's Ways Are Mysterious

14There is a vanity which is done on the earth; that there be just men, to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity. 15Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labor the days of his life, which God gives him under the sun. 16When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night sees sleep with his eyes:) 17Then 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.
Cross References
Romans 11:33
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!


Psalm 73:16
When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;


Ecclesiastes 1:13
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail has God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.


Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end.


Ecclesiastes 7:13
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?


Ecclesiastes 7:23
All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.


Ecclesiastes 7:24
That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?


Ecclesiastes 11:5
As you know not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so you know not the works of God who makes all.


Treasury of Scripture

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.

that a man

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart...

Ecclesiastes 7:23,24 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me...

Ecclesiastes 11:5 As you know not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child...

Job 5:9 Which does great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number:

Job 11:7-9 Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the Almighty to perfection...

Psalm 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are your wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are to us-ward...

Psalm 73:16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

Psalm 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! in wisdom have you made them all: the earth is full of your riches.

Proverbs 30:3,4 I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy...

Isaiah 40:28 Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not...

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Strong's Concordance
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].
Topical Bible
Able Beheld Can't Claims Comprehend Concluded Considered Despite Discover Efforts Farther Further Gives Goes However Labor Laboriously Labors Labour Meaning Moreover Really Search Seek Seeking Seems Speak Thinketh Thinks Though Toil Wise Won't Yea Yes Yet
Resources
Ecclesiastes Chapter 8 Verse 17

Alphabetical: a all and been can cannot claims comprehend concluded Despite discover done efforts Even every God goes has he his I if it its know knows laboriously man meaning No not of on one out really saw say search seek should sun that the then though to under what which will wise work

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 8:17 Then I saw all the work (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)
Ecclesiastes 8:16
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