Ecclesiastes 3 New Life Version (NLV)
A Time for Everything
3 There is a special time for everything. There is a time for everything that happens under heaven. 2 There is a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pick what is planted. 3 There is a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. 4 There is a time to cry, and a time to laugh; a time to have sorrow, and a time to dance. 5 There is a time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to kiss, and a time to turn from kissing. 6 There is a time to try to find, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away. 7 There is a time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be quiet, and a time to speak. 8 There is a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
The God-Given Work
9 What does the worker get for his work? 10 I have seen the work which God has given the sons of men to do. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has put thoughts of the forever in man’s mind, yet man cannot understand the work God has done from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and to do good as long as they live. 13 And I know that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his work. It is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will last forever. There is nothing to add to it, and nothing to take from it. God works so that men will honor Him with fear. 15 That which is, already has been. And that which will be, has already been. For God allows the same things to happen again.
Sin Is Everywhere
16 Also I have seen under the sun that in the place of what is right and fair there is sin. And in the place of what is right and good there is wrong-doing. 17 I said to myself, “God will judge both the man who is right and good, and the sinful man.” For there is a time for everything to be done and a time for every work. 18 I said to myself about the sons of men, “God is testing them to show them that they are like animals.” 19 For the same thing is to happen to both the sons of men and animals. As one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and to be a man is no better than to be an animal. Because all is for nothing. 20 All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust. 21 Who knows that the spirit of man goes up and the spirit of the animal goes down to the earth? 22 So I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his work, for that is all he can do. Who can bring him to see what will happen after him?