The Futility of All Endeavors

The words of the (A)Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

(B)Futility of futilities,” says the Preacher,
“Futility of futilities! All is futility.”

(C)What advantage does a person have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the (D)earth [a]remains forever.
Also, (E)the sun rises and the sun sets;
And [b]hurrying to its place it rises there again.
[c](F)Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues [d]swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns.
All the rivers [e]flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers [f]flow,
There they [g]flow again.
All things are wearisome;
No one can tell it.
(G)The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
(H)What has been, it is what will be,
And what has been done, it is what will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one might say,
“See this, it is new”?
It has already existed for ages
Which were before us.
11 There is (I)no remembrance of the [h]earlier things,
And of the later things as well, which will occur,
There will be no remembrance of them
Among those who will come later still.

The Futility of Wisdom

12 I, the (J)Preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I (K)set my [i]mind to seek and (L)explore by wisdom about everything that has been done under heaven. It is a [j](M)sorry task with which God has given the sons of mankind to be troubled. 14 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is (N)futility and striving after wind. 15 What is (O)crooked cannot be straightened, and what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I [k]said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased (P)wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my [l]mind has observed [m]a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I (Q)applied my [n]mind to know wisdom and to (R)know insanity and foolishness; I realized that this also is (S)striving after wind. 18 Because (T)in much wisdom there is much grief; and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

The Futility of Pleasure and Possessions

I said [o]to myself, “Come now, I will test you with (U)pleasure. So [p]enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. (V)I said of laughter, “It is senseless,” and of pleasure, “What does this accomplish?” I explored with my [q]mind how to (W)refresh my body with wine while my [r]mind was guiding me wisely; and how to seize (X)foolishness, until I could see (Y)what good there is for the sons of mankind [s]to do under heaven for the few [t]years of their lives. I enlarged my works: I (Z)built houses for myself, I planted (AA)vineyards for myself; I made (AB)gardens and (AC)parks for myself, and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made (AD)ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and I had [u](AE)slaves born at home. I also possessed flocks and (AF)herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. I also amassed for myself silver and (AG)gold, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself (AH)male and female singers, and the pleasures of the sons of mankind: many concubines.

Then I became (AI)great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 (AJ)All that my eyes desired, I did not refuse them. I did not restrain my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor; and this was my (AK)reward for all my labor. 11 So I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had [v]exerted, and behold, all was (AL)futility and striving after wind, and there was (AM)no benefit under the sun.

Wisdom Surpasses Foolishness

12 So I turned to (AN)consider wisdom, insanity, and foolishness; for what will the man do who will come after the king, except (AO)what has already been done? 13 Then I saw that (AP)wisdom surpasses foolishness as light surpasses darkness. 14 The wise person’s eyes are in his head, but the (AQ)fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that (AR)one and the same fate happens to [w]both of them. 15 Then I said [x]to myself, “(AS)As is the fate of the fool, it will also happen to me. (AT)Why then have I been extremely wise?” So [y]I said to myself, “This too is futility.” 16 For there is (AU)no [z]lasting remembrance of the wise, along with the fool, since in the coming days everything will [aa]soon be forgotten. And (AV)how the wise and the fool alike die! 17 So I (AW)hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was [ab]unhappy to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

The Futility of Labor

18 So I hated (AX)all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, because I must (AY)leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be wise or (AZ)a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is (BA)futility. 20 Therefore I [ac]completely despaired over all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun. 21 When there is a person who has labored with wisdom, knowledge, and (BB)skill, and then (BC)gives his [ad]legacy to one who has not labored for it; this too is futility and a great evil. 22 For what does a person get in (BD)all his labor and in [ae]his striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 Because all his days his activity is painful and (BE)irritating; even at night his [af]mind (BF)does not rest. This too is futility.

24 There is (BG)nothing better for a person than to eat and drink, and show [ag]himself some good in his trouble. This too I have seen, that it is (BH)from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without [ah]Him? 26 For to a person who is good in His sight, (BI)He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may (BJ)give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is (BK)futility and striving after wind.

A Time for Everything

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a (BL)time for every matter under heaven—

A time to give birth and a (BM)time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A (BN)time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to (BO)weep and a time to (BP)laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to (BQ)dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to (BR)be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to (BS)hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

(BT)What benefit is there for the worker from that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the (BU)task which God has given the sons of mankind with which to [ai]occupy themselves.

God Set Eternity in the Heart of Mankind

11 He has (BV)made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, without the possibility that mankind (BW)will find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

12 I know that there is (BX)nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; 13 moreover, that every person who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—this is the (BY)gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it. And God has so worked, that people will [aj](BZ)fear Him. 15 (CA)That which is, is what has already been, and that which will be has already been; and God [ak]seeks what has passed by.

16 Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is (CB)wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. 17 I said [al]to myself, “(CC)God will judge the righteous and the wicked,” for a (CD)time for every matter and for every deed [am]is there. 18 I said [an]to myself regarding the sons of mankind, “God is testing them in order for them to see that they are as (CE)animals, they to themselves.” 19 (CF)For the fate of the sons of mankind and the fate of animals [ao]is the same. As one dies, so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath, and there is no advantage for mankind over animals, for all is futility. 20 All go to the same place. All came from the (CG)dust and all return to the dust. 21 Who knows that the (CH)spirit of the sons of mankind ascends upward and the spirit of the animal descends downward to the earth? 22 I have seen that (CI)nothing is better than when a person is happy in his activities, for that is his [ap]lot. For who will bring him to see (CJ)what will occur after him?

The Evils of Oppression

Then I looked again at all the acts of (CK)oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold, I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had (CL)no one to comfort them; and power was on the side of their oppressors, but they had no one to comfort them. So (CM)I congratulated the dead who are already dead, more than the living who are still living. But (CN)better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun.

I have seen that every labor and every (CO)skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a person and his neighbor. This too is (CP)futility and striving after wind. The fool (CQ)folds his hands and (CR)consumes his own flesh. One hand full of rest is (CS)better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.

Then I looked again at futility under the sun. There was a man without a [aq]dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, (CT)his eyes were not satisfied with riches, and he never asked, “And (CU)for whom do I labor and deprive myself of pleasure?” This too is futility, and it is an (CV)unhappy task.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor; 10 for if [ar]either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not [as]another to lift him up! 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they [at]keep warm, but (CW)how can one be warm alone? 12 And if [au]one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

13 A (CX)poor yet wise youth is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive [av]instruction— 14 for he has come (CY)out of prison to become king, even though he was born poor in his kingdom. 15 I have seen all those living under the sun move to the side of the second youth who [aw]replaces him. 16 There is no end to all the people, to all who were before them. Even the ones who will come later will not be happy with him; for this too is (CZ)futility and striving after wind.

Your Attitude toward God

[ax](DA)Guard your steps as you go to the house of God, and approach to listen rather than to offer the (DB)sacrifice of fools; for they do not know that they are doing evil. [ay]Do not be (DC)quick with your mouth or [az]impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your (DD)words be few. For the dream comes through much [ba]effort, and the voice of a (DE)fool through many words.

When you (DF)make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. (DG)Pay what you vow! It is (DH)better that you not vow, than vow and not pay. Do not let your [bb]speech cause [bc]you to sin, and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a (DI)mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is futility. Rather, [bd](DJ)fear God.

If you see (DK)oppression of the poor and (DL)denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be (DM)shocked at the [be]sight; for one [bf]official watches over another [bg]official, and there are higher [bh]officials over them. After all, a king who cultivates the field is beneficial to the land.

The Foolishness of Riches

10 (DN)One who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor one who loves abundance with its income. This too is futility. 11 (DO)When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to [bi]look at them? 12 The sleep of the laborer is (DP)sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the [bj]full stomach of the rich person does not allow him to sleep.

13 There is a sickening evil which I have seen under the sun: (DQ)wealth being [bk]hoarded by its owner to his detriment. 14 When that wealth was lost through bad business and he had fathered a son, then there was nothing [bl]to support him. 15 (DR)As he came naked from his mother’s womb, so he will return as he came. He will (DS)take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand. 16 This also is a sickening evil: exactly as a person [bm]is born, so will he [bn]die. (DT)What then is the advantage for him who (DU)labors for the wind? 17 All his life (DV)he also eats in darkness with (DW)great irritation, sickness, and anger.

18 Here is what I have seen to be (DX)good and [bo]fitting: to eat, to drink, and [bp]enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he labors under the sun during the few [bq]years of his life which God has given him; for this is his [br](DY)reward. 19 Furthermore, as for every person to whom (DZ)God has given riches and wealth, He has also (EA)given him the opportunity to [bs]enjoy them and to receive his [bt]reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the (EB)gift of God. 20 For he will not often call to mind the [bu]years of his life, because (EC)God keeps [bv]him busy with the joy of his heart.

The Futility of Life

There is an (ED)evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is widespread [bw]among mankind: a person to whom God has (EE)given riches, wealth, and honor, so that his soul (EF)lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God has not given him the opportunity to [bx]enjoy these things, but a foreigner [by]enjoys them. This is futility and a severe affliction. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many [bz]they may be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper (EG)burial, then I say, “Better (EH)the miscarriage than he, for a miscarriage comes in futility and goes into darkness; and its name is covered in darkness. It has not even seen the sun nor does it know it; yet [ca]it is better off than that man. Even if the man lives a thousand years twice, but does not see good things—(EI)do not all go to one and the same place?”

(EJ)All a person’s labor is for his mouth, and yet [cb]his appetite is not [cc]satisfied. For (EK)what advantage does the wise person have over the fool? What does the poor person have, knowing how to walk before the living? What the eyes (EL)see is better than what the soul [cd]desires. This too is (EM)futility and striving after wind.

10 Whatever (EN)exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he (EO)cannot dispute with the [ce]one who is mightier than he is. 11 For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a person? 12 For who knows what is good for a person during his lifetime, during the few [cf]years of his futile life? He will [cg]spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a person (EP)what will happen after him under the sun?

Wisdom and Foolishness Contrasted

A (EQ)good name is better than good [ch]oil,
And the (ER)day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because [ci]that is the (ES)end of every person,
And the living [cj](ET)takes it to [ck]heart.
(EU)Sorrow is better than laughter,
For (EV)when a face is sad a heart may be happy.
The [cl]mind of the wise is in the house of mourning,
While the [cm]mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.
It is better to (EW)listen to the rebuke of a wise person
Than for one to listen to the song of fools.
For as the [cn]crackling of (EX)thorn bushes under a pot,
So is the (EY)laughter of the fool;
And this too is futility.
For (EZ)oppression makes a wise person look foolish,
And a (FA)bribe [co]corrupts the heart.
The (FB)end of a matter is better than its beginning;
(FC)Patience of spirit is better than arrogance of spirit.
Do not be [cp](FD)eager in your spirit to be angry,
For anger resides in the [cq]heart of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
11 Wisdom along with an inheritance is good,
And an (FE)advantage to those who see the sun.
12 For (FF)wisdom is [cr]protection just as money is [cs]protection,
But the advantage of knowledge is that (FG)wisdom keeps its possessors alive.
13 Consider the (FH)work of God,
For who is (FI)able to straighten what He has bent?
14 (FJ)On the day of prosperity be happy,
But (FK)on the day of adversity consider:
God has made the one as well as the other
So that a person will (FL)not discover anything that will come after him.

15 I have seen everything during my [ct](FM)lifetime of futility; there is (FN)a righteous person who perishes in his righteousness, and there is (FO)a wicked person who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16 Do not be excessively (FP)righteous, and do not (FQ)be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked, and do not be foolish. Why should you (FR)die [cu]before your time? 18 It is good that you grasp one thing while not [cv]letting go of the other; for one who (FS)fears God comes out with [cw]both of them.

19 (FT)Wisdom strengthens a wise person more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Indeed, (FU)there is not a righteous person on earth who always does good and does not ever sin. 21 Also, do not [cx]take seriously all the words which are spoken, so that you do not hear your servant (FV)cursing you, 22 for [cy]you know that even you have cursed others many times as well.

23 I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” (FW)but wisdom was far from me. 24 What has been is remote and (FX)very [cz]mysterious. (FY)Who can discover it? 25 I [da](FZ)directed my [db]mind to know and to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of foolishness and the foolishness of insanity. 26 And I discovered as more (GA)bitter than death the woman whose heart is (GB)snares and nets, whose hands are chains. (GC)One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but (GD)the sinner will be captured by her.

27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “by adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 which [dc]I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a (GE)woman among all these. 29 Behold, I have found only this, that (GF)God made people upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”

Obey Rulers

Who is like the wise person and who knows the meaning of a matter? A person’s wisdom (GG)illuminates his face and makes his (GH)stern face [dd]brighten up.

I say, “Keep the [de]command of the king because of the (GI)oath [df]before God. Do not be in a hurry [dg](GJ)to leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases.” Since the word of the king is authoritative, (GK)who will say to him, “What are you doing?”

One who (GL)keeps a royal command (GM)experiences no [dh]trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For (GN)there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a person’s trouble is heavy upon him. If no one (GO)knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen? (GP)No one has authority over the wind to restrain the wind, nor authority over the day of death; and there is no military discharge in the time of war, and (GQ)evil will not save [di]those who practice it. All this I have seen, and have applied my [dj]mind to every deed that has been done under the sun at a time when one person has exercised (GR)authority over another person to his detriment.

10 So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out of the holy place, and they are (GS)soon forgotten in the city where they did such things. This too is futility. 11 Because the (GT)sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore (GU)the hearts of the sons of mankind among them are [dk]fully given to do evil. 12 Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may (GV)lengthen his life, still I know that it will go (GW)well for those who fear God, who fear [dl]Him openly. 13 But it will (GX)not go well for the evil person and he will not lengthen his days like a (GY)shadow, because he does not fear God.

14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are (GZ)righteous people to whom it [dm]happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are (HA)evil people to whom it [dn]happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility. 15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for (HB)a person under the sun except to eat, drink, and be joyful, and this will stand by him in his labor throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.

16 When I (HC)devoted my [do]mind to know wisdom and to see the business which has been done on the earth (even though one should [dp](HD)never sleep day or night), 17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that (HE)one cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though a person laboriously seeks, he will not discover; and (HF)even if the wise person claims to know, he cannot discover.

People Are in the Hand of God

For I have taken all this to my heart, even to [dq]examine [dr]it all, that righteous people, wise people, and their deeds are (HG)in the hand of God. (HH)People do not know whether it will be (HI)love or hatred; anything [ds]awaits them.

(HJ)It is the same for all. There is (HK)one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and the unclean; for the person who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good person is, so is the sinner; the one who swears an oath is just as the one who [dt]is afraid to swear an oath. This is an evil in everything that is done under the sun, that there is (HL)one fate for everyone. Furthermore, (HM)the hearts of the sons of mankind are full of evil, and (HN)insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterward they go to the dead. For whoever is joined to all the living, there is hope; for better a live dog, than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die; but the dead (HO)do not know anything, nor do they have a reward any longer, for their (HP)memory is forgotten. Indeed their love, their hate, and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a (HQ)share in all that is done under the sun.

Go then, (HR)eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. See that your (HS)clothes are white all the time, and that there is no lack of (HT)oil on your head. [du]Enjoy life with the wife whom you love all the days of your (HU)futile life which He has given you under the sun, [dv]all the days of your futility; for this is your (HV)reward in life and in your work which you have labored under the sun.

Whatever Your Hand Finds to Do

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, (HW)do it with all your might; for there is no (HX)activity, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in (HY)Sheol where you are going.

11 I again saw under the sun that the (HZ)race is not to the swift and the (IA)battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor (IB)wealth to the discerning, nor favor to the skillful; for time and (IC)chance overtake them all. 12 For indeed, a person does not (ID)know his time: like fish that are caught in a treacherous net and (IE)birds caught in a snare, so the sons of mankind are (IF)ensnared at an evil time when it (IG)suddenly falls on them.

13 This too I saw as wisdom under the sun, and [dw]it impressed me: 14 there (IH)was a small city with few men in it, and a great king came to it, surrounded it, and constructed large siegeworks against it. 15 But there was found in it a (II)poor wise man, and he [dx]saved the city (IJ)by his wisdom. Yet (IK)no one remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “(IL)Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised, and his words are [dy]ignored. 17 The (IM)words of the wise heard in calm are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18 (IN)Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but (IO)one sinner destroys much good.

A Little Foolishness

10 Dead flies turn a (IP)perfumer’s oil rancid, so a little foolishness is more [dz]potent than wisdom and honor. A wise person’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish (IQ)person’s heart directs him toward the left. Even when the fool walks along the road, his [ea]sense is lacking, and he [eb](IR)demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool. If the ruler’s [ec]temper rises against you, (IS)do not abandon your place, because (IT)composure puts great offenses to rest.

There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like a mistake that proceeds from the ruler: (IU)foolishness is set in many exalted places while the rich sit in humble places. I have seen (IV)slaves riding (IW)on horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.

(IX)One who digs a pit may fall into it, and a (IY)serpent may bite one who breaks through a wall. One who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and one who splits logs may be endangered by them. 10 If the [ed]axe is dull and he does not sharpen its [ee]edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of bringing success. 11 If the serpent bites [ef](IZ)before being charmed, there is no benefit for the charmer. 12 (JA)Words from the mouth of a wise person are gracious, while the lips of a (JB)fool consume him; 13 the beginning of [eg]his talking is foolishness, and the end of [eh]it is evil (JC)insanity. 14 Yet the (JD)fool multiplies words. No person knows what will happen, and who can tell him (JE)what will come after him? 15 The labor of [ei]a fool makes him so weary that he does not even know how to go to a city. 16 Woe to you, land whose (JF)king is a boy, and whose princes [ej]feast in the morning. 17 Blessed are you, land whose king is of nobility, and whose princes eat at the appropriate time—for strength and not for (JG)drunkenness. 18 Through (JH)extreme laziness the rafters sag, and through idleness the house leaks. 19 People prepare a meal for enjoyment, (JI)wine makes life joyful, and (JJ)money [ek]is the answer to everything. 20 Furthermore, (JK)in your bedroom do not (JL)curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich person; for a bird of the sky will bring the sound, and the winged one will make your word known.

Cast Your Bread on the Waters

11 (JM)Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you (JN)will find it [el]after many days. (JO)Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what (JP)misfortune may occur on the earth. If the clouds are full, they pour out rain on the earth; and whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it [em]lies. One who watches the wind will not sow and one who looks at the clouds will not harvest. Just as you do not (JQ)know the path of the [en]wind, and (JR)how bones are formed in the womb of the [eo]pregnant woman, so you do not (JS)know the activity of God who makes everything.

Sow your seed (JT)in the morning and do not [ep]be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether [eq]one or the other will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to (JU)see the sun. Indeed, if a person lives many years, let him (JV)rejoice in them all; but let him remember the (JW)days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility.

Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the [er]impulses of your heart and the [es](JX)desires of your eyes. Yet know that (JY)God will bring you to judgment for all these things. 10 So remove [et]sorrow from your heart and keep [eu](JZ)pain away from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are [ev]fleeting.

Remember God in Your Youth

12 (KA)Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the (KB)evil days come and the years approach when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the (KC)sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; on the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and strong men are (KD)bent over, the grinders stop working because they are few, and (KE)those who look through [ew]windows grow [ex]dim; and the doors on the street are shut as the (KF)sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the (KG)daughters of song will [ey]sing softly. Furthermore, people are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and the caper berry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal (KH)home while the (KI)mourners move around in the street. Remember your Creator before the silver cord is [ez]broken and the (KJ)golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the spring is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the (KK)dust will return to the earth as it was, and the [fa](KL)spirit will return to (KM)God who gave it. (KN)Futility of futilities,” says the Preacher, “all is futility!”

Purpose of the Preacher

In addition to being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out, and arranged (KO)many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find (KP)delightful words and to write (KQ)words of truth correctly.

11 The (KR)words of the wise are like [fb](KS)goads, and masters of these collections are like driven (KT)nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond this, my son, be warned: the [fc]writing of (KU)many books is endless, and excessive (KV)study is [fd]wearying to the body.

13 The conclusion, when everything has been heard, is: (KW)fear God and (KX)keep His commandments, because this applies to (KY)every person. 14 For (KZ)God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.


  1. Ecclesiastes 1:4 Lit stands
  2. Ecclesiastes 1:5 Lit panting
  3. Ecclesiastes 1:6 Lit Going
  4. Ecclesiastes 1:6 Lit turning
  5. Ecclesiastes 1:7 Lit go
  6. Ecclesiastes 1:7 Lit go
  7. Ecclesiastes 1:7 Lit go
  8. Ecclesiastes 1:11 Lit first; or former
  9. Ecclesiastes 1:13 Lit heart
  10. Ecclesiastes 1:13 Lit evil
  11. Ecclesiastes 1:16 Lit spoke with my heart, saying
  12. Ecclesiastes 1:16 Lit heart
  13. Ecclesiastes 1:16 Lit an abundance
  14. Ecclesiastes 1:17 Lit heart
  15. Ecclesiastes 2:1 Lit in my heart
  16. Ecclesiastes 2:1 Lit consider with goodness
  17. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit heart
  18. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit heart
  19. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit which they do
  20. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit days
  21. Ecclesiastes 2:7 Lit sons
  22. Ecclesiastes 2:11 Lit labored to do
  23. Ecclesiastes 2:14 Lit all of
  24. Ecclesiastes 2:15 Lit in my heart
  25. Ecclesiastes 2:15 Lit I spoke in my heart
  26. Ecclesiastes 2:16 Lit forever
  27. Ecclesiastes 2:16 Lit already
  28. Ecclesiastes 2:17 Lit evil
  29. Ecclesiastes 2:20 Lit turned aside my heart to despair
  30. Ecclesiastes 2:21 Lit share
  31. Ecclesiastes 2:22 Lit the striving of his heart
  32. Ecclesiastes 2:23 Lit heart
  33. Ecclesiastes 2:24 Lit his soul
  34. Ecclesiastes 2:25 As in LXX; Heb me
  35. Ecclesiastes 3:10 Or trouble
  36. Ecclesiastes 3:14 Or be in awe before Him
  37. Ecclesiastes 3:15 Or finds
  38. Ecclesiastes 3:17 Lit in my heart
  39. Ecclesiastes 3:17 I.e., exists with God
  40. Ecclesiastes 3:18 Lit in my heart
  41. Ecclesiastes 3:19 Lit and they have one fate
  42. Ecclesiastes 3:22 Or reward
  43. Ecclesiastes 4:8 Lit second
  44. Ecclesiastes 4:10 Lit they fall
  45. Ecclesiastes 4:10 Lit a second
  46. Ecclesiastes 4:11 Lit have warmth
  47. Ecclesiastes 4:12 Lit he
  48. Ecclesiastes 4:13 Or warning
  49. Ecclesiastes 4:15 Lit stands in his place
  50. Ecclesiastes 5:1 Ch 4:17 in Heb
  51. Ecclesiastes 5:2 Ch 5:1 in Heb
  52. Ecclesiastes 5:2 Lit hurry your heart
  53. Ecclesiastes 5:3 Lit task
  54. Ecclesiastes 5:6 Lit mouth
  55. Ecclesiastes 5:6 Lit your body
  56. Ecclesiastes 5:7 Or revere
  57. Ecclesiastes 5:8 Lit delight
  58. Ecclesiastes 5:8 Lit high one
  59. Ecclesiastes 5:8 Lit high one
  60. Ecclesiastes 5:8 Lit ones
  61. Ecclesiastes 5:11 Lit see with their eyes
  62. Ecclesiastes 5:12 Lit satiety
  63. Ecclesiastes 5:13 Lit guarded
  64. Ecclesiastes 5:14 Lit in his hand
  65. Ecclesiastes 5:16 Lit comes
  66. Ecclesiastes 5:16 Lit go
  67. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Lit beautiful
  68. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Lit see good
  69. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Or days
  70. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Or share
  71. Ecclesiastes 5:19 Lit eat from it
  72. Ecclesiastes 5:19 Or share
  73. Ecclesiastes 5:20 Or days
  74. Ecclesiastes 5:20 As in LXX
  75. Ecclesiastes 6:1 Lit upon
  76. Ecclesiastes 6:2 Lit eat from it
  77. Ecclesiastes 6:2 Lit eats it
  78. Ecclesiastes 6:3 Lit the days of his years
  79. Ecclesiastes 6:5 Lit more rest has this one than that
  80. Ecclesiastes 6:7 Lit the soul
  81. Ecclesiastes 6:7 Lit filled
  82. Ecclesiastes 6:9 Lit goes after
  83. Ecclesiastes 6:10 Or Him who
  84. Ecclesiastes 6:12 Lit days
  85. Ecclesiastes 6:12 Lit do
  86. Ecclesiastes 7:1 I.e., olive oil
  87. Ecclesiastes 7:2 I.e., death
  88. Ecclesiastes 7:2 Lit gives
  89. Ecclesiastes 7:2 Lit his heart
  90. Ecclesiastes 7:4 Lit heart
  91. Ecclesiastes 7:4 Lit heart
  92. Ecclesiastes 7:6 Lit voice
  93. Ecclesiastes 7:7 Lit destroys
  94. Ecclesiastes 7:9 Lit hasty
  95. Ecclesiastes 7:9 Lit chest
  96. Ecclesiastes 7:12 Lit in a shadow
  97. Ecclesiastes 7:12 Lit in a shadow
  98. Ecclesiastes 7:15 Lit days
  99. Ecclesiastes 7:17 Lit when not your time
  100. Ecclesiastes 7:18 Lit resting your hand
  101. Ecclesiastes 7:18 Lit all of them
  102. Ecclesiastes 7:21 Lit give your heart to
  103. Ecclesiastes 7:22 Lit your heart knows
  104. Ecclesiastes 7:24 Lit deep
  105. Ecclesiastes 7:25 Lit turned about
  106. Ecclesiastes 7:25 Lit heart
  107. Ecclesiastes 7:28 Lit my soul still seeks
  108. Ecclesiastes 8:1 Or change
  109. Ecclesiastes 8:2 Lit mouth
  110. Ecclesiastes 8:2 Lit of
  111. Ecclesiastes 8:3 Lit to go out from his presence
  112. Ecclesiastes 8:5 Lit evil thing
  113. Ecclesiastes 8:8 Lit its possessors
  114. Ecclesiastes 8:9 Lit heart
  115. Ecclesiastes 8:11 Lit full to do
  116. Ecclesiastes 8:12 Lit before Him
  117. Ecclesiastes 8:14 Lit strikes
  118. Ecclesiastes 8:14 Lit strikes
  119. Ecclesiastes 8:16 Lit heart
  120. Ecclesiastes 8:16 Lit see no sleep in his eyes
  121. Ecclesiastes 9:1 Or explain
  122. Ecclesiastes 9:1 Lit all this
  123. Ecclesiastes 9:1 Lit is before them
  124. Ecclesiastes 9:2 Lit fears an oath
  125. Ecclesiastes 9:9 Lit See
  126. Ecclesiastes 9:9 all...your futility not found in some ancient versions
  127. Ecclesiastes 9:13 Lit it was great to me
  128. Ecclesiastes 9:15 Or might have saved
  129. Ecclesiastes 9:16 Lit not listened to
  130. Ecclesiastes 10:1 Lit costly
  131. Ecclesiastes 10:3 Lit heart
  132. Ecclesiastes 10:3 Lit says
  133. Ecclesiastes 10:4 Lit spirit
  134. Ecclesiastes 10:10 Lit iron
  135. Ecclesiastes 10:10 Lit faces
  136. Ecclesiastes 10:11 Lit with no incantation
  137. Ecclesiastes 10:13 Lit the words of his mouth
  138. Ecclesiastes 10:13 Lit his mouth
  139. Ecclesiastes 10:15 Lit fools make
  140. Ecclesiastes 10:16 Lit eat
  141. Ecclesiastes 10:19 Lit answers all
  142. Ecclesiastes 11:1 Lit in, within
  143. Ecclesiastes 11:3 Lit is
  144. Ecclesiastes 11:5 Or with many mss spirit into the bones in the womb
  145. Ecclesiastes 11:5 Lit full
  146. Ecclesiastes 11:6 Lit let down your hand
  147. Ecclesiastes 11:6 Lit this or that
  148. Ecclesiastes 11:9 Lit ways
  149. Ecclesiastes 11:9 Lit sights
  150. Ecclesiastes 11:10 Or anger
  151. Ecclesiastes 11:10 Lit evil
  152. Ecclesiastes 11:10 Lit futility
  153. Ecclesiastes 12:3 Or holes
  154. Ecclesiastes 12:3 I.e., in their eyesight
  155. Ecclesiastes 12:4 Lit be low
  156. Ecclesiastes 12:6 As in LXX; Heb removed
  157. Ecclesiastes 12:7 Or breath
  158. Ecclesiastes 12:11 I.e., spiked sticks for driving cattle
  159. Ecclesiastes 12:12 Lit making
  160. Ecclesiastes 12:12 Lit weariness

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