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Since there are many business affairs

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that multiply vapor, how is man better off?


There are many business related decisions we make which increase our frustration because, instead of accomplishing something good as we intended, they accomplish nothing that is of lasting value. So how is man better off for all his efforts? He is not better off; all his striving ends up hurting him rather than helping him.


1: “business affairs”

This word usually means “word” and it comes from the verb “to speak.” However, it can also mean “business, a matter, a duty, a task, an occupation.” Translators have been divided on how to translate this word in this context. As usual, context is about all we have to help us decide which way to translate it, and if we look back at the last several verses, we see that Solomon has been talking about the futility of effort, the troubles of our toils, and the certainty of death. He has not said anything recently about one’s speech and the problems one can get into by talking too much. So the context points clearly to something having to do with our business dealings, and the choices we make regarding how we use our time and effort in pursuing our goals for financial prosperity.