Ecclesiastes - Chapter 1 | New International Version

  • 1. The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
  • 2. Meaningless! Meaningless! says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
  • 3. What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?
  • 4. Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
  • 5. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
  • 6. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
  • 7. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
  • 8. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
  • 9. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
  • 10. 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.
  • 11. There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.
  • 12. I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
  • 13. I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men!
  • 14. I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
  • 15. What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
  • 16. I thought to myself, "Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge."
  • 17. 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.
  • 18. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.