The wiser you are, the more worries you have; the more you know, the more it hurts.” (Ecclesiastes 1:18, GNB)

Whatever else one can say about Ecclesiastes, Solomon knocks this verse right out of the park.  The word the GNB translates “worries” is “vexation” [ESV].  It means: “anger, vexation, indignation. Refers to the abstract feeling of vexation, anger, or frustration.” (Lexham Theological Workbook)

Why does wisdom bring worries or vexation?  Because the person of wisdom sees more, understands more, and projects the consequences of current actions into the future, for individuals, for society, [in our day, for the whole world what with ubiquitous news and the internet].  This makes for a lot of sorrow, a lot of worry, a lot of vexation, and some anger, depending upon the situation.

The more that one knows and understands people, the more hurt comes as one sees poor choices and the consequences of poor choices and missed opportunity.

Believers are not to succumb to worry or anger or sorrow, because they have God’s great and mighty promises, even more clearly than Solomon had them; but the world is a place of sorrow, and the longer one lives, the better one understands that.