English Standard Version
All Is Vanity
2 Vanityb of vanities, says the Preacher,
12I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13And I applied my heartf to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.g
15 What is crooked cannot be made straight,
16I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has 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 is but a striving after wind.
18 For in much wisdom is much vexation,
a 1 Or Convener, or Collector; Hebrew Qoheleth (so throughout Ecclesiastes)
b 2 Hebrew vapor (so throughout Ecclesiastes)
c 5 Or and returns panting
d 11 Or former people
e 11 Or later people
f 13 The Hebrew term denotes the center of one’s inner life, including mind, will, and emotions
g 14 Or a feeding on wind; compare Hosea 12:1 (so throughout Ecclesiastes)
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