Ecclesiastes Chapter 1 |
1The words of Koheleth son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2Utter futility!—said Koheleth—
Utter futility! All is futile!
3What real value is there for a man
In all the gains he makes beneath the sun?
4One generation goes, another comes,
But the earth remains the same forever.
5The sun rises, and the sun sets—
And glides back to where it rises.
Ever turning blows the wind;
On its rounds the wind returns.
7All streams flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is never full;
To the place [from] which they flow
The streams flow back again.
8All such things are wearisome:
No man can ever state them;
The eye never has enough of seeing,
Nor the ear enough of hearing.
9Only that shall happen
Which has happened,
Only that occur
Which has occurred;
There is nothing new
Beneath the sun!
10Sometimes there is a phenomenon of which they say, “Look, this one is new!”—it occurred long since, in ages that went by before us. 11The earlier ones are not remembered; so too those that will occur later will no more be remembered than those that will occur at the very end.
12I, Koheleth, was king in Jerusalem over Israel. 13I set my mind to study and to probe with wisdom all that happens under the sun.—An unhappy business, that, which God gave men to be concerned with! 14I observed all the happenings beneath the sun, and I found that all is futile and pursuit of wind:
15A twisted thing that cannot be made straight,
A lack that cannot be made good.
16I said to myself: “Here I have grown richer and wiser than any that ruled before me over Jerusalem, and my mind has zealously absorbed wisdom and learning.” 17And so I set my mind to appraise wisdom and to appraise madness and folly. And I learned—that this too was pursuit of wind:
18For as wisdom grows, vexation grows;
To increase learning is to increase heartache.