Ecclesiastes 1 – New International Version (NIV)
Everything Is Meaningless
- The words of the Teacher,[a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:
- “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
- What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?
- Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
- The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
- The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
- All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
- All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
- What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
- Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
- No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.
Wisdom Is Meaningless
- I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
- I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!
- I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
- What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
- I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.”
- Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
- For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes 1 – King James Version (KJV)
- The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
- Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
- What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
- One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
- The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
- The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
- All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
- All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
- The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
- Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
- There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
The Vanity of Knowledge
- I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
- And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
- I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
- That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
- I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
- And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
- For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.