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Ecclesiastes 1:1-11Common English Bible (CEB)

Opening motto

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

Perfectly pointless,[b] says the Teacher, perfectly pointless.
    Everything is pointless.

Some things are inevitable

What do people gain from all the hard work
    that they work so hard at under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains as it always has.
The sun rises, the sun sets;
    it returns panting to the place where it dawns.
The wind blows to the south,
    goes around to the north;
    around and around blows the wind;
    the wind returns to its rounds again.
All streams flow to the sea,
    but the sea is never full;
    to the place where the rivers flow,
    there they continue to flow.
All words[c] are tiring;
    no one is able to speak.
    The eye isn’t satisfied with seeing,
    neither is the ear filled up by hearing.
Whatever has happened—that’s what will happen again;
    whatever has occurred—that’s what will occur again.

There’s nothing new under the sun. 10 People may say about something: “Look at this! It’s new!” But it was already around for ages before us. 11 There’s no remembrance of things in the past, nor of things to come in the future. Neither will there be any remembrance among those who come along in the future.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 1:1 Or Gatherer or Convener or Assembler (Heb Qoheleth); see also 1:2, 12; 7:27; 12:8, 9, 10.
  2. Ecclesiastes 1:2 Or meaningless or vapor or puff of air (Heb hebel, which often occurs in the book)
  3. Ecclesiastes 1:8 Or things
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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