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Ecclesiastes 1 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Kohelet: the Preacher

The words of Kohelet[a], son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Futile! Futile! says Kohelet.
Completely meaningless!
Everything is futile![b]
What does a person gain in all his labor
    that he toils under the sun?
A generation comes, and a generation goes,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to the place it rises.
The wind goes toward the south,
and circles around to the north.
Round and round it swirls about,
ever returning to its circuits.
All the rivers flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place where the rivers flow,
    there they go again.
All things are wearisome.
    No one can express them.
The eye is never satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done will be done again.
There is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything about which is said,
“Look! This is new!”?
It was already here long ago,
    in the ages long before us.
11 There is no remembrance for former things,
    and things yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.

Search for Meaning in Life

12 I, Kohelet, am king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my heart to seek and examine by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a burdensome task God has given the sons of men to keep them occupied. 14 I have seen all the deeds done under the sun; and behold, all is meaningless and chasing after the wind.

15 What is crooked cannot be made straight.
What is missing cannot be counted.

16 I spoke with my heart saying: “I have grown rich and increased in wisdom more than any who were before me over Jerusalem. Indeed, my heart has experienced much wisdom and knowledge.” 17 So I applied my heart to know wisdom as well as to know madness and folly. I learned that this too was pursuit of the wind.

18 For with much wisdom comes much grief,
and whoever keeps increasing knowledge, increases heartache.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 1:1 Heb. Kohelet, meaning preacher; collector of sentences.
  2. Ecclesiastes 1:2 cf. Rom. 8:20.
Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

Ecclesiastes 1 New International Version (NIV)

Everything Is Meaningless

The words of the Teacher,[a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
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.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 1:1 Or the leader of the assembly; also in verses 2 and 12
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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