English Revised Version
Preceding Generations Forgotten
1The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
3What profit hath man of all his labour wherein he laboureth under the sun?
4One generation goeth, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth for ever.
5The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he ariseth.
6The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it turneth about continually in its course, and the wind returneth again to its circuits.
7All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place whither the rivers go, thither they go again.
8All things are full of weariness; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10Is there a thing whereof men say, See, this is new? it hath been already, in the ages which were before us.
11There is no remembrance of the former generations; neither shall there be any remembrance of the latter generations that are to come, among those that shall come after.
With Wisdom Comes Sorrow
12I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven: it is a sore travail that God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith. 14I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. 15That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I have gotten me great wisdom above all that were before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart hath had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 17And I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also was a striving after wind. 18For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.