The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; vanity of vanities, all is vanity. 3 What profit has man of all his labor in which he labors under the sun? 4 One generation goes, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever. 5 The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it rises. 6 The wind goes toward the south, and turns about to the north; it turns about continually in its course, and the wind returns again to its circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place where the rivers go, there they go again. 8 All things are full of weariness; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there a thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? It has been long ago, and the ages which were before us. 11 There is no remembrance of the former generations; neither shall there be any remembrance of the latter generations that are to come, among those that shall come after.
12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven: it is a great travail that Elohim has given to the sons of men to be afflicted by it. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. 15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. 16 I communed with my own heart, saying, Lo, I have gotten great wisdom above all that were before me in Jerusalem; yes, my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also was a striving after wind. 18 For in much wisdom is much grief; and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow.
I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What does it? 3 I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life. 4 I made myself great works; I built myself houses; I planted myself vineyards; 5 I made myself gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit; 6 I made myself pools of water, to water from them the forest where trees were reared; 7 I bought menservants and maidservants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem; 8 I gathered also to myself silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces; I got myself men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor; and this was my portion from all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness and folly: for what can the man do that comes after the king? Even that which has been done long ago. 13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, and the fool walks in darkness: and yet I perceived that one event happens to them all. 15 Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then said I in my heart, that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance forever; since in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. And how does the wise man die? Even as the fool! 17 So I hated life, because the work that is worked under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a striving after wind.
18 And I hated all my labor in which I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man that shall be after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet will he have rule over all my labor in which I have labored, and in which I have showed myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor in which I had labored under the sun. 21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skilfulness; yet to a man that has not labored in it shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 For what has a man of all his labor, and of the striving of his heart, in which he labors under the sun? 23 For all his days are but sorrows, and his travail is grief; yes, even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
24 There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of Elohim. 25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I? 26 For to the man that pleases him Elohim gives wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleases Elohim. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 9 What profit has he who works in that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the travail which Elohim has given to the sons of men to be exercised with it. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time: also he has set eternity in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that Elohim has done from the beginning even to the end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for them, than to rejoice, and to do good so long as they live. 13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy good in all his labor, is the gift of Elohim. 14 I know that, whatever Elohim does, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and Elohim has done it, that men should fear before him. 15 That which is has been long ago; and that which is to be has long ago been: and Elohim seeks again that which has passed away.
16 And moreover I saw under the sun, in the place of justice, that wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, that wickedness was there. 17 I said in my heart, Elohim will judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18 I said in my heart, It is because of the sons of men, that Elohim may prove them, and that they may see that they themselves are but as beasts. 19 For that which happens to the sons of men happens to beasts; even one thing happens to them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yes, they have all one breath; and man has no preeminence above the beasts: for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knows the spirit of man, whether it goes up, and the spirit of the beast, whether it goes down to the earth? 22 Therefore I saw that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him back to see what shall be after him?