1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 “[a]Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “[b]Vanity of vanities! All is [c]vanity.”
3 What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun? 4 A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth [d]remains forever. 5 Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And [e]hastening to its place it rises there again. 6 [f]Blowing toward the south, Then turning toward the north, The wind continues [g]swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns. 7 All the rivers [h]flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers [i]flow, There they [j]flow again. 8 All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing. 9 That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which 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”? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us. 11 There is no remembrance of [k]earlier things; And also of the [l]later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will come [m]later still.
The Futility of Wisdom
12 I, the Preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.13 And I set my [n]mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is [o]a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.14 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is [p]vanity and striving after wind.15 What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted.
16 I [q]said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my [r]mind has observed [s]a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.”17 And I set my [t]mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the New Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!