Ecclesiastes or, the Preacher
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man by all his labor with which he wearieth himself under the sun? 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; while the earth abideth for ever. 5 The sun riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteneth to the place whence it arose. 6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about to the north; round and round goeth the wind, and returneth to its circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place whence the rivers come, thither they return. 8 All words become weary; man cannot express it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 The thing that hath been is that which shall be, and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing of which one may say, “Behold, this is new”? It was long ago, in the times which were before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things, and of things that are to come there shall be no remembrance to those who live afterwards. 12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel at Jerusalem. 13 And I gave my mind to seek and to search out with wisdom concerning all things which are done under heaven; an evil business, which God hath given to the sons of men, in which to employ themselves. 14 I saw all the things which are done under the sun; and, behold, it was all vanity, and 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 heart, saying, “Behold, I have gained more and greater wisdom than all who have been before me at Jerusalem; yea, my mind hath seen much wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I gave my mind to know wisdom, and to know senselessness and folly; I perceived that this also is striving after wind. 18 For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.