3 Everything has its own time, and there is a specific time for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pull out what was planted, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build up, 4 a time to cry and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,[a] a time to hug and a time to stop hugging, 6 a time to start looking and a time to stop looking, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear apart and a time to sew together, a time to keep quiet and a time to speak out, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
God Gives Mortals a Sense of Eternity
9 What do working people gain from their hard labor? 10 I have seen mortals weighed down with a burden that God has placed on them. 11 It is beautiful how God has done everything at the right time. He has put a sense of eternity in people’s minds. Yet, mortals still can’t grasp what God is doing from the beginning to the end of time.
12 I realize that there’s nothing better for them to do than to be cheerful and enjoy what is good in their lives. 13 It is a gift from God to be able to eat and drink and experience the good that comes from every kind of hard work.
14 I realize that whatever God does will last forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken away from it. God does this so that people will fear him.
15 Whatever has happened in the past is present now. Whatever is going to happen in the future has already happened in the past. God will call the past to account.[b]
Humans and Animals Meet the Same End
16 I saw something else under the sun:
There is wickedness where justice should be found. There is wickedness where righteousness should be found.
17 I thought to myself, “God will judge righteous people as well as wicked people, because there is a specific time for every activity and every work that is done.” 18 I thought to myself, “God is going to test humans in order to show them that they are like animals.” 19 Humans and animals have the same destiny. One dies just like the other. All of them have the same breath of life. Humans have no advantage over animals. All of life is pointless. 20 All life goes to the same place. All life comes from the ground, and all of it goes back to the ground. 21 Who knows whether a human spirit goes upward or whether an animal spirit goes downward to the earth?
22 I saw that there’s nothing better for people to do than to enjoy their work because that is their lot in life. Who will allow them to see what will happen after them?
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.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience!
Bible Gateway Plus equips you to answer the toughest questions about faith, God, and the Bible. There's no software to install; it's all integrated seamlessly into your Bible Gateway experience. Try it free for 30 days!