Complete Jewish Bible
1 The words of Kohelet the son of David, king in Yerushalayim:
2 Pointless! Pointless! — says Kohelet —
Utterly meaningless! Nothing matters!
3 What does a person gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?
4 Generations come, generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises, the sun sets;
then it speeds to its place and rises there.
6 The wind blows south,
then it turns north;
the wind blows all around
and keeps returning to its rounds.
7 All the rivers flow to the sea,
yet the sea is not full;
to the place where the rivers flow,
there they keep on flowing.
8 Everything is wearisome,
more than one can express;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
the ear not filled up with hearing.
9 What has been is what will be,
what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new
under the sun.
10 Is there something of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It existed already in the ages before us.
11 No one remembers the people of long ago;
and those to come will not be remembered
by those who come after them.
12 I, Kohelet, have been king over Isra’el in Yerushalayim. 13 I wisely applied myself to seek out and investigate everything done under heaven. What a bothersome task God has given humanity to keep us occupied! 14 I have seen all the activities that are done under the sun, and it’s all pointless, feeding on wind.
15 What is crooked can’t be straightened;
what is not there can’t be counted.
16 I said to myself, “Look, I have acquired much wisdom, more than anyone ruling Yerushalayim before me.” Yes, I experienced a great deal of wisdom and knowledge; 17 yet when I applied myself to understanding wisdom and knowledge, as well as stupidity and folly, I came to see that this too was merely feeding on wind.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief;
the more knowledge, the more suffering.