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Everything Has Its Time

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:(A)

a time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted;(B)
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to break down and a time to build up;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;(C)
a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;(D)
a time to seek and a time to lose;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;(E)
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.(F)

The God-Given Task

What gain have the workers from their toil?(G) 10 I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.(H) 11 He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.(I) 12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; 13 moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. 14 I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor anything taken from it; God has done this so that all should stand in awe before him.(J) 15 That which is already has been, that which is to be already is, and God seeks out what has gone by.[a](K)

Judgment and the Future Belong to God

16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that, in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well. 17 I said to myself, “God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time for every matter and for every work.”(L) 18 I said to myself with regard to humans that God is testing[b] them to show that they are but animals.(M) 19 For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals, for all is vanity.(N) 20 All go to one place, all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.(O) 21 Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth?(P) 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that all should enjoy their work, for that is their lot; who can bring them to see what will be after them?(Q)


  1. 3.15 Heb what is pursued
  2. 3.18 Meaning of Heb uncertain