Ecclesiastes 1
Christian Standard Bible Par ▾ 

Everything Is Futile

1The words of the Teacher,a a son of David, king in Jerusalem.b

2“Absolute futility,” says the Teacher.

“Absolute futility. Everything is futile.”a

3What does a person gain for all his efforts

that he labors at under the sun?a

4A generation goes and a generation comes,

but the earth remains forever.a

5The sun rises and the sun sets;

panting, it hurries back to the placea

where it rises.

6Gusting to the south,

turning to the north,

turning, turning, goes the wind,a

and the wind returns in its cycles.

7All the streams flow to the sea,

yet the sea is never full;

to the place where the streams flow,

there they flow again.

8All thingsA are wearisome,

more than anyone can say.

The eye is not satisfied by seeinga

or the ear filled with hearing.

9What has been is what will be,

and what has been done is what will be done;

there is nothing new under the sun.

10Can one say about anything,

“Look, this is new”?

It has already existed in the ages before us.

11There is no remembrance of those whoA came before;a

and of those who will come after

there will also be no remembrance

by those who follow them.

The Limitations of Wisdom

12I, the Teacher,a have beenA king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13I applied my mind to examinea and explore through wisdom all that is done under heaven.b God has given peopleA this miserable task to keep them occupied.c 14I have seen all the things that are done under the sun and have found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind.a a

15What is crooked cannot be straightened;a

what is lacking cannot be counted.

16I said to myself, “See, I have amassed wisdom far beyond all those who were over Jerusalem before me,a and my mind has thoroughly graspedA wisdom and knowledge.” 17I applied my mind to know wisdom and knowledge,a madness and folly;b I learned that this too is a pursuit of the wind.c

18For with much wisdom is much sorrow;a

as knowledge increases, grief increases.

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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