Ecclesiastes - Chapter 1 | Good News Translation

  • 1. These are the words of the Philosopher, David's son, who was king in Jerusalem.
  • 2. It is useless, useless, said the Philosopher. Life is useless, all useless.
  • 3. You spend your life working, laboring, and what do you have to show for it?
  • 4. Generations come and generations go, but the world stays just the same.
  • 5. The sun still rises, and it still goes down, going wearily back to where it must start all over again.
  • 6. The wind blows south, the wind blows north---round and round and back again.
  • 7. Every river flows into the sea, but the sea is not yet full. The water returns to where the rivers began, and starts all over again.
  • 8. Everything leads to weariness---a weariness too great for words. Our eyes can never see enough to be satisfied; our ears can never hear enough.
  • 9. What has happened before will happen again. What has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new in the whole world.
  • 10. "Look," they say, "here is something new!" But no, it has all happened before, long before we were born.
  • 11. No one remembers what has happened in the past, and no one in days to come will remember what happens between now and then.
  • 12. I, the Philosopher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.
  • 13. I determined that I would examine and study all the things that are done in this world. God has laid a miserable fate upon us.
  • 14. I have seen everything done in this world, and I tell you, it is all useless. It is like chasing the wind.
  • 15. You can't straighten out what is crooked; you can't count things that aren't there.
  • 16. I told myself, "I have become a great man, far wiser than anyone who ruled Jerusalem before me. I know what wisdom and knowledge really are."
  • 17. I was determined to learn the difference between knowledge and foolishness, wisdom and madness. But I found out that I might as well be chasing the wind.
  • 18. The wiser you are, the more worries you have; the more you know, the more it hurts.