Ecclesiastes 3
Christian Standard Bible Par ▾ 

The Mystery of Time

1There is an occasion for everything,

and a time for every activity under heaven:a

2a time to give birth and a time to die;a

a time to plant and a time to uproot;A

3a time to kill and a time to heal;

a time to tear down and a time to build;

4a time to weep and a time to laugh;a

a time to mourn and a time to dance;b

5a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;a

a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;b

6a time to search and a time to count as lost;

a time to keep and a time to throw away;

7a time to tear and a time to sew;

a time to be silent and a time to speak;a

8a time to love and a time to hate;

a time for war and a time for peace.a

9What does the worker gain from his struggles?a 10I have seen the task that God has given the children of Adam to keep them occupied.a 11He has made everything appropriateA in its time.a He has also put eternity in their hearts,B but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end.b 12I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy theA good life. 13It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts.a 14I know that everything God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it.a God works so that people will be in awe of him.b 15Whatever is, has already been,a and whatever will be, already is. However, God seeks justice for the persecuted.A

The Mystery of Injustice and Death

16I also observed under the sun: there is wickedness at the place of judgment and there is wickedness at the place of righteousness.a 17I said to myself, “God will judge the righteous and the wicked,a since there is a time for every activity and every work.”b 18I said to myself, “This happens so that God may test the children of Adam and they may see for themselves that they are like animals.”a 19For the fate of the children of Adam and the fate of animals is the same.a As one dies, so dies the other; they all have the same breath. People have no advantage over animals since everything is futile. 20All are going to the same place; all come from dust, and all return to dust.a 21Who knows if the spirits of the children of Adam go upward and the spirits of animals go downward to the earth? 22I have seen that there is nothing better than for a person to enjoy his activitiesa because that is his reward. For who can enable him to see what will happen after he dies?a b

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Ecclesiastes 2
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