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Ecclesiastes 6:1 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Not Everyone Enjoys Life

Here is[a] another misfortune[b] that I have seen on earth,[c]
and it weighs heavily[d] on people:[e]


  1. Ecclesiastes 6:1 tn The term יֵשׁ (yesh, “there is”) is often used in aphorisms to assert the existence of a particular situation that occurs sometimes. It may indicate that the situation is not the rule but that it does occur on occasion, and may be nuanced “sometimes” (Prov 11:24; 13:7, 23; 14:12; 16:25; 18:24; 20:15; Eccl 2:21; 4:8; 5:12; 6:1; 7:15 [2x]; 8:14 [3x]).
  2. Ecclesiastes 6:1 tn The noun רָעָה (raʿah, “evil”) probably means “misfortune” (HALOT 1263 s.v. רָעָה 4) or “injustice, wrong” (HALOT 1262 s.v. רָעָה 2.b); see, e.g., Eccl 2:17; 5:12, 15; 6:1; 10:5.
  3. Ecclesiastes 6:1 tn Heb “under the sun.”
  4. Ecclesiastes 6:1 tn The word “weighs” does not appear in Hebrew, but is added in the translation for smoothness.
  5. Ecclesiastes 6:1 tn Heb “it is great upon men.” The phrase וְרַבָּה הִיא עַל־הָאָדָם (verabbah hiʾ ʿal-haʾadam) is taken in two basic ways: (1) commonality: “it is common among men” (KJV, MLB), “it is prevalent among men” (NASB), “that is frequent among men” (Douay). (2) oppressiveness: “it lies heavy upon men” (RSV, NRSV), “it weighs heavily upon men” (NEB, NAB, NIV), “it presses heavily on men” (Moffatt), “it is heavy upon men” (ASV), and “a grave one it is for man” (NJPS). The preposition עַל (ʿal, “upon”) argues against the first in favor of the second; the notion of commonality would be denoted by the preposition ב (bet, “among”). The singular noun אָדָם (ʾadam) is used as a collective, denoting “men.” The article on הָאָדָם (haʾadam) is used in a generic sense referring to humankind as a whole; the generic article is often used with a collective singular (IBHS 244 §13.5.1f).
New English Translation (NET)

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