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I gave my heart

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to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly, and I learned

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that this also is like trying to catch the wind.

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I devoted my innermost being to understand the benefits of wisdom, and the consequences of madness and folly, and I came to understand that this too is as frustrating as trying to catch the wind.


1: “I gave my heart”

This was more than a quick mental observation, it was something he gave himself to completely, body, soul, and spirit. We should believe it because it was Solomon speaking, the one whom God had given wisdom, and also because he took those abilities God had given him and applied them to real life problems with much effort over long periods of time. He studied this problem from every possible angle.

2: “I learned”

This is a form of the same word used above “to know.”


This fits the theme of Ecclesiastes in that trying to understand these things is like a vapor (and its acrostic PASSES) for it is E: not Easy to understand and also Endlessly frustrating. That frustration is at the heart of the phrase “trying to catch the wind.” Why is wisdom frustrating? His answer is in the next verse.