Ecclesiastes or, the Preacher
1 THE WORDS OF the Koheleth, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity. 3 What profit hath man of all his labour wherein he laboureth under the sun? 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth for ever. 5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he ariseth. 6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it turneth about continually in its circuit, and the wind returneth again to its circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place whither the rivers go, thither they go again. 8 All things toil to weariness; man cannot utter it, the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 That which hath been is that which shall be, and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing whereof it is said: 'See, this is new'? — it hath been already, in the ages which were before us. 11 There is no remembrance of them of former times; neither shall there be any remembrance of them of latter times that are to come, among those that shall come after. 12 I Koheleth have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven; it is a sore task that God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith. 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 spoke with my own heart, saying: 'Lo, I have gotten great wisdom, more also than all that were before me over Jerusalem'; yea, my heart hath 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 vexation; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.