Ecclesiastes 1
Holman Christian Standard Bible  Par ▾ 

Everything is Futile

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

2Absolute futility,” says the Teacher.

Absolute futility. Everything is futile.”d

3What does a man gain for all his efforts

that he labors at under the sun?e

4A generation goes and a generation comes,

but the earth remains forever.f

5The sun rises and the sun sets;

panting, it returns to its placeg

where it rises.

6Gusting to the south,

turning to the north,

turning, turning, goes the wind,h

and the wind returns in its cycles.

7All the streams flow to the sea,

yet the sea is never full.

The streams are flowing to the place,

and they flow there again.

8All thingsi are wearisome;

man is unable to speak.

The eye is not satisfied by seeingj

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 whok came before;l

and of those whom will come after

there will also be no remembrance

by those who follow them.

The Limitations of Wisdom

12I, the Teacher,n have beeno king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13I applied my mind to seekp and explore through wisdom all that is done under heaven.q God has given people this miserable task to keep them occupied.r 14I have seen all the things that are done under the sun and have found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind.s, t

15What is crooked cannot be straightened;u

what is lacking cannot be counted.

16I said to myself,vLook, I have amassed wisdom far beyond all those who were over Jerusalem before me,w and my mind has thoroughly graspedx wisdom and knowledge.” 17I applied my mind to know wisdom and knowledge,y madness and folly;z I learned that this too is a pursuit of the wind.aa, ab

18For with much wisdom is much sorrow;ac

as knowledge increases, grief increases.

a. 1:1 Or of Qoheleth, or of the Leader of the Assembly
b. 1:1 Ec 1:12; 7:27; 12:8-10
c. 1:1 1Kg 2:12; Pr 1:1
d. 1:2 Ps 39:5-6; 62:9; 144:4; Ec 12:8; Rm 8:20
e. 1:3 Ec 2:11,22; 3:9; 5:16
f. 1:4 Ps 104:5; 119:90; 1Jn 2:17
g. 1:5 Ps 19:6
h. 1:6 Ec 11:5; Jn 3:8
i. 1:8 Or words
j. 1:8 Pr 27:20; Ec 4:8
k. 1:11 Or of the things that
l. 1:11 Dt 9:14; Ec 2:16; 9:5
m. 1:11 Or of the things that
n. 1:12 Ec 1:1; 7:27; 12:8-10
o. 1:12 Or Teacher, was
p. 1:13 Ec 1:17
q. 1:13 1Kg 4:29-34; Ec 3:10-11; 7:25; 8:17
r. 1:13 Gn 3:19; Ec 2:23,26; 3:10; 4:8
s. 1:14 Or a feeding on wind, or an affliction of spirit
t. 1:14 Pr 27:16; Ec 2:11,17; 4:4; 6:9
u. 1:15 Ec 7:13
v. 1:16 Lit said with my heart
w. 1:16 1Kg 3:12; 4:30; 10:23; Ec 2:9
x. 1:16 Or discerned
y. 1:17 Ec 1:13
z. 1:17 Ec 2:12; 7:25
aa. 1:17 Or a feeding on wind, or an affliction of spirit
ab. 1:17 Ec 2:11,17; 4:4,6,16; 6:9
ac. 1:18 Ec 2:23; 12:12
Proverbs 31
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