Everything Is Meaningless
1]. The words of the Teacher,[a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:
2]. “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless.”
3]. What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?
4]. Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
5]. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
6]. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north;round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7]. All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
8] All things are wearisome, more than one can say.The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9]. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10]. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
11]. No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come
will not be remembered by those who follow them.
Wisdom Is Meaningless
12]. I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13]. I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.
What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!
14]. I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless,
a chasing after the wind.
15]. What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
16]. I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me;
I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.”
17]. Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly,
but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
18]. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.