Ecclesiastes 1 World English Bible (WEB)
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:
2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” 3 What does man gain from all his labor in which he labors under the sun? 4 One generation goes, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever. 5 The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it rises. 6 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. 7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again. 8 All things are full of weariness beyond uttering. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 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.
Ecclesiastes 1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Futility of All Endeavor
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
3 What advantage does man have in all his work
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.