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Ecclesiastes 1 World English Bible (WEB)

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” What does man gain from all his labor in which he labors under the sun? One generation goes, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever. The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it rises. The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north. It turns around continually as it goes, and the wind returns again to its courses. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again. All things are full of weariness beyond uttering. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there a thing of which it may be said, “Behold,[a] this is new?” It has been long ago, in the ages which were before us. 11 There is no memory of the former; neither shall there be any memory of the latter that are to come, among those that shall come after.

12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the sky. It is a heavy burden that God[b] has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and a chasing after wind. 15 That which is crooked can’t be made straight; and that which is lacking can’t be counted. 16 I said to myself, “Behold, I have obtained for myself great wisdom above all who were before me in Jerusalem. Yes, my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also was a chasing after wind. 18 For in much wisdom is much grief; and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 1:10 “Behold”, from “הִנֵּה”, means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.
  2. Ecclesiastes 1:13 The Hebrew word rendered “God” is “אֱלֹהִ֑ים” (Elohim).
World English Bible (WEB)

by Public Domain. The name "World English Bible" is trademarked.

Ecclesiastes 1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Futility of All Endeavor

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

[a]Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
[b]Vanity of vanities! All is [c]vanity.”

What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the earth [d]remains forever.
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
And [e]hastening to its place it rises there again.
[f]Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues [g]swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns.
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.
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.
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.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 1:2 Or Futility of futilities
  2. Ecclesiastes 1:2 Or Futility of futilities
  3. Ecclesiastes 1:2 Or futile
  4. Ecclesiastes 1:4 Lit stands
  5. Ecclesiastes 1:5 Lit panting
  6. Ecclesiastes 1:6 Lit Going
  7. Ecclesiastes 1:6 Lit turning
  8. Ecclesiastes 1:7 Lit go
  9. Ecclesiastes 1:7 Lit go
  10. Ecclesiastes 1:7 Lit go
  11. Ecclesiastes 1:11 Lit first or former
  12. Ecclesiastes 1:11 Lit latter or after
  13. Ecclesiastes 1:11 Lit latter or after
  14. Ecclesiastes 1:13 Lit heart
  15. Ecclesiastes 1:13 Lit an evil
  16. Ecclesiastes 1:14 Or futility
  17. Ecclesiastes 1:16 Lit spoke with my heart, saying
  18. Ecclesiastes 1:16 Lit heart
  19. Ecclesiastes 1:16 Lit an abundance
  20. Ecclesiastes 1:17 Lit heart
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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