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Everything Has Its Time

Everything on earth
has its own time
    and its own season.
There is a time
for birth and death,
    planting and reaping,
for killing and healing,
    destroying and building,
for crying and laughing,
    weeping and dancing,
for throwing stones
and gathering stones,
    embracing and parting.
There is a time
for finding and losing,
    keeping and giving,
for tearing and sewing,
    listening and speaking.
There is also a time
for love and hate,
    for war and peace.

What God Has Given Us To Do

What do we gain by all of our hard work? 10 I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. 11 God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. 12 I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, 13 because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do. 14 Everything God has done will last forever; nothing he does can ever be changed. God has done all this, so that we will worship him.

15 Everything that happens
    has happened before,
and all that will be
    has already been—
God does everything
    over and over again.[a]

The Future Is Known Only to God

16 Everywhere on earth I saw violence and injustice instead of fairness and justice. 17 So I told myself that God has set a time and a place for everything. He will judge everyone, both the wicked and the good. 18 I know that God is testing us to show us that we are merely animals. 19 Like animals we breathe and die, and we are no better off than they are. It just doesn’t make sense. 20 All living creatures go to the same place. We are made from earth, and we return to the earth. 21 Who really knows if our spirits go up and the spirits of animals go down into the earth? 22 We were meant to enjoy our work, and that’s the best thing we can do. We can never know the future.

Footnotes

  1. 3.15 God does. . . again: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.