New International Version
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time(A) for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,(B)
3 a time to kill(C) and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent(D) and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil?(E) 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.(F) 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.(G) He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom(H) what God has done from beginning to end.(I) 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink,(J) and find satisfaction(K) in all their toil—this is the gift of God.(L) 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.(M)
16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
17 I said to myself,
18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.(R) 19 Surely the fate of human beings(S) is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[c]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.(T) 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward(U) and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
King James Version
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
New King James Version
Everything Has Its Time
3 To everything there is a season,
A (A)time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time [a]to be born,
And (B)a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to (C)weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
(D)A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
(E)A time to keep silence,
And a time to (F)speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to (G)hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
The God-Given Task
9 (H)What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? 10 (I)I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that (J)no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
12 I know that nothing is (K)better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13 and also that (L)every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.
14 I know that whatever God does,
It shall be forever.
(M)Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it.
God does it, that men should fear before Him.
15 (N)That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God [b]requires an account of [c]what is past.
Injustice Seems to Prevail
16 Moreover (O)I saw under the sun:
17 I said in my heart,
18 I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.” 19 (Q)For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place: (R)all are from the dust, and all return to dust. 21 (S)Who[g] knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? 22 (T)So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for (U)that is his [h]heritage. (V)For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
- Ecclesiastes 3:2 Lit. to bear
- Ecclesiastes 3:15 Lit. seeks
- Ecclesiastes 3:15 what is pursued
- Ecclesiastes 3:16 justice
- Ecclesiastes 3:16 Wickedness
- Ecclesiastes 3:17 desire
- Ecclesiastes 3:21 LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. Who knows whether the spirit . . . goes upward, and whether . . . goes downward to the earth?
- Ecclesiastes 3:22 portion or lot