Chapter 1

1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king of Israel in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

3 What advantage is there to a man in all his labour that he takes under the sun? 4 A generation goes, and a generation comes: but the earth stands for ever. 5 And the sun arises, and the sun goes down and draws toward its place; 6 arising there it proceeds southward, and goes round toward the north. The wind goes round and round, and the wind returns to its circuits. 7 All the 1rivers run into the sea; and yet the sea is not filled: to the place whence the rivers come, thither they return again. 8 All things are full of labour; a man will not be able to speak of them: neither shall the eye be satisfied with seeing, neither shall the ear be filled with hearing.

9 What is that which has been? the very thing which shall be: and what is that which has been done? the very thing which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Who is he that shall speak and say, Behold, this is new? it has already been in the ages that have passed before us. 11 There is no memorial to the first things; neither to the things that have been last shall their memorial be with them that shall at the last time.

12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart to seek out and examine by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven, for God has given to the sons of men an evil trouble to be troubled therewith.

14 I beheld all the works that were wrought under the sun; and, beheld, all were vanity and 2waywardness of spirit. 15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and deficiency cannot be numbered. 16 I spoke in my heart, saying, Behold, I am increased, and have acquired wisdom beyond all who were before me in Jerusalem: also I applied my heart to know wisdom and knowledge. 17 And my heart knew much--wisdom, and knowledge, parables and understanding: I perceived that this also is waywardness of spirit. 18 For in the abundance of wisdom is abundance of knowledge; and he that increases knowledge will increase sorrow.

Chapter 2

1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth, and behold thou


good: and, behold, this is also vanity. 2 I said to laughter, Madness: and to mirth, Why doest thou this:

3 And I examined whether my heart would excite my flesh as with wine, (though my heart guided me in wisdom,) and I desired to lay hold of mirth, until I should see of what kind is the good to the sons of men, which they should do under the sun all the days of their life. 4 I enlarged my work; I built me houses; I planted me vineyards. 5 I made me gardens and orchards, and planted in them every kind of fruit-tree. 6 I made me 3pools of water, to water from them the timber-bearing wood. 7 I got servants and maidens, and servants were born to me in the house: also I had abundant possession of flocks and herds, beyond all who were before me in Jerusalem. 8 Moreover I collected for myself both silver and gold also, and the peculiar treasures of kings and provinces: I procured me singing men and singing women, and delights of the sons of men, a butler and female cupbearers.

9 So I became great, and advanced beyond all that were before in Jerusalem: also my wisdom was established to me. 10 And whatever mine eyes desired, I withheld not from them, I withheld not my heart from all my mirth: for my heart rejoiced in all my labour; and this was my portion of all my labour. 11 And I looked on all my works which my hands had wrought, and on my labour which I laboured to perform: and behold, all was vanity and waywardness of spirit, and there is no advantage under the sun.

12 Then I looked on to see wisdom, and madness, and folly: for who is the man who will follow after counsel, in all things where in he employs it? 13 And I saw that wisdom excels folly, as much as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness: and I perceived, even I, that one event shall happen to them all.

15 And I said in my heart, As the event of the fool is, so shall it be to me, even to me: and to what purpose have I gained wisdom? I said moreover in my heart, This is also vanity, because the fool speaks of his abundance. 16 For there is no remembrance of the wise man with the fool for ever; forasmuch as now in the coming days all things are forgotten: and how shall the wise man die with the fool?

17 So I hated life; because the work that was wrought under the sun was 4evil before me: for all is vanity and waywardness of spirit. 18 And I hated the whole of my labour which I took under the sun; because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? and whether he will have power over all my labour in which I laboured, and wherein I grew wise under the sun? this is also vanity. 20 so I went about to dismiss from my heart all


my labour wherein I had laboured under the sun. 21 For there is such a man that his labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in fortitude; yet this man shall give his portion to one who has not laboured therein. This is also vanity and great 5evil. 22 For it happens to a man in all his labour, and in the purpose of his heart wherein he labours under the sun. 23 For all his days are days of sorrows, and 6vexation of spirit is his; in the night also his heart rests not. This is also vanity.

24 A man has nothing really good 7to eat, and to drink, and to shew his soul as good in his trouble. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God. 25 For who shall eat, or who shall drink, without 8him? 26 For God has given to the man who is good in his sight, wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but he has given to the sinner trouble, to add and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God; for this is also vanity and waywardness of spirit.

1 Gr. torrents.

2 Lit. deliberate choice.

3 Lit. baths.

4 Gr. toward, or, upon me.

5 Gr. wickedness.

6 Or, distraction.

7 Gr. which he shall eat and which, etc.

8 i.e. God.


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