1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king of Israel in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher,
Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What advantage is there to a man
In all his labor that he takes under the sun?
4 A generation goes, and a generation comes:
But the earth stands forever.
5 And the sun arises, and the sun goes down
And draws toward its place;
6 Arising there it proceeds southward,
And goes round toward the north.
The wind goes round and round,
And the wind returns to its circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea;
And yet the sea is not filled:
To the place whence the rivers come,
Thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labor;
A man will not be able to speak of them:
Neither shall the eye be satisfied with seeing,
Neither shall the ear be filled with hearing.
9 What is that which has been? the very thing which shall be:
And what is that which has been done? the very thing which shall be done:
And there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Who is he that shall speak and say, Behold, this is new?
It has already been in the ages
That have passed before us.
11 There is no memorial to the first things;
Neither to the things that have been last
Shall their memorial be
With them that shall be at the last time.
12 I the Preacher
Was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I applied my heart to seek out
And examine by wisdom concerning all things
That are done under heaven,
For God has given to the sons of men
An evil trouble
To be troubled therewith.
14 I beheld all the works
That were wrought under the sun;
And, behold, all were vanity and waywardness of spirit.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight:
And deficiency cannot be numbered.
16 I spoke in my heart, saying,
Behold, I am increased,
And have acquired wisdom beyond all
Who were before me in Jerusalem:
Also I applied my heart to know wisdom and knowledge.
17 And my heart knew much—wisdom, and knowledge,
Parables and understanding:
I perceived that this also is waywardness of spirit.
18 For in the abundance of wisdom is abundance of knowledge;
And he that increases knowledge will increase sorrow.