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I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and behold, everything is pointless and herding the wind. Bible

“pointless.” See commentary on Ecclesiastes 1:2.

“herding the wind.” Cp. Robert Alter (The Wisdom Books) uses the phrase “herding the wind,” and he writes: “The verbal root of the first Hebrew word here generally means to tend a flock (and in the Song of Songs, to graze), so the common modern translation, “pursuit of the wind,” is an interpretive liberty.” The fact that the Hebrew can mean “to herd, to shepherd, to tend” explains why some versions say “feeding” or the NAB reads “shepherd the wind” in Hosea 12:1. Although the English vesions translate the Hebrew phrase in a number of different ways, most of those translations make the point well, that what is done under the sun is pointless, futile. That is certainly true with herding wind, because it cannot be done and it is pointless to try. (Cp. the different options in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament).


Commentary for: Ecclesiastes 1:14