New Century Version
There Is a Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and everything on earth has its special season.
2 There is a time to be born
and a time to die.
There is a time to plant
and a time to pull up plants.
3 There is a time to kill
and a time to heal.
There is a time to destroy
and a time to build.
4 There is a time to cry
and a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad
and a time to dance.
5 There is a time to throw away stones
and a time to gather them.
There is a time to hug
and a time not to hug.
6 There is a time to look for something
and a time to stop looking for it.
There is a time to keep things
and a time to throw things away.
7 There is a time to tear apart
and a time to sew together.
There is a time to be silent
and a time to speak.
8 There is a time to love
and a time to hate.
There is a time for war
and a time for peace.
God Controls His World
9 Do people really gain anything from their work? 10 I saw the hard work God has given people to do. 11 God has given them a desire to know the future. He does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what he is doing. 12 So I realize that the best thing for them is to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live. 13 God wants all people to eat and drink and be happy in their work, which are gifts from God. 14 I know that everything God does will continue forever. People cannot add anything to what God has done, and they cannot take anything away from it. God does it this way to make people respect him.
15 What happens now has happened in the past,
and what will happen in the future has happened before.
God makes the same things happen again and again.
Unfairness on Earth
16 I also saw this here on earth:
Where there should have been justice, there was evil;
where there should have been right, there was wrong.
17 I said to myself,
God has planned a time for every thing and every action,
so he will judge both good people and bad.
18 I decided that God leaves it the way it is to test people and to show them they are just like animals. 19 The same thing happens to animals and to people; they both have the same breath, so they both die. People are no better off than the animals, because everything is useless. 20 Both end up the same way; both came from dust and both will go back to dust. 21 Who can be sure that the human spirit goes up to God and that the spirit of an animal goes down into the ground? 22 So I saw that the best thing people can do is to enjoy their work, because that is all they have. No one can help another person see what will happen in the future.