Ecclesiastes or, the Preacher
The words of Koheleth, the son of David, the king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith Koheleth, vanity of vanities: all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his toil which he toil-eth under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth endureth for ever. The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and striving to reach his place he riseth again there. Going toward the south, and turning round toward the north, the wind moveth round about continually; and around its circles doth the wind return again. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is never full: unto the place whither the rivers go, thither will they continue to go. All things weary themselves [constantly]; man can not utter them: the eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. That which hath been, is the same which will be; and that which hath been done, is the same which will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun. 10 If there be any thing whereof it is said, See, this is new: It hath already been in olden times which were before us. 11 [Only] there is no recollection of former [generations]; and also of the later ones, that are to be—of these [likewise] there will be no recollection with those that will be still later. 12 I Koheleth was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I directed my heart to inquire and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: this is an evil employment which God hath given to the sons of man to busy themselves therewith. 14 I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun: and, behold, all is vanity and a torture of the spirit. 15 What is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is defective cannot be numbered. 16 I spoke with my own heart, saying, Lo, I have truly obtained greater and more wisdom than all those who have been before me over Jerusalem: yea, my heart had seen much wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I directed my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly; [but] I have perceived that this also is a torture of the spirit. 18 For where there is much wisdom there is much vexation: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth pain.