Ecclesiastes

Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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Ecclesiastes 1

1 The words of the preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:
2 Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3 What is the profit to a man in all his labor which he labors under the sun?
4 A generation passes away, and a generation comes; but the earth stands perpetually.
5 The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, panting in a hurry to its place where it rises again.
6 The wind goes toward the south, and it turns around to the north; it whirls around continually; and the wind returns according to its circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; to the place from where the rivers come, there they return again.
8 All things are full of labor; man is not able to utter it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? It has already been in the days of antiquity, which were before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things, and also no remembrance of following things of what will be; nor a remembrance of those things by those who follow afterwards.
12 I, the preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I have given my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that which is done under the heavens. It is an evil task which God has given to the sons of men to be busied with.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and striving of spirit.
15 What is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is lacking cannot be numbered.
16 I spoke within my own heart, saying, Lo, I have become great and have gathered more wisdom than all who have been before me in Jerusalem; yea, my heart has seen much of wisdom and knowledge.
17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I have perceived that this also is striving of spirit.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief; and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Ecclesiastes 2

1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore regard pleasure; and this was vanity.
2 I said of laughter, It is madness; and of mirth, What does it accomplish?
3 I sought in my heart to gratify my flesh with wine, while leading my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, until I might find out what was good for the sons of men to do under the heavens all the days of their life.
4 I made my works great; I built houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself.
5 I made gardens and orchards for myself, and I planted trees in them, of all kinds of fruit.
6 I made pools of water for myself, to water the forest springing up with trees.
7 I have bought slaves and maids, and had servants born in my house; I also had more livestock, herds and flocks, than all who were before me in Jerusalem.
8 I also gathered silver and gold to myself, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got men singers and women singers for myself, and the delights of the sons of men, wives and concubines.
9 I was great and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom remained with me.
10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them; I did not withhold my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my share from all my labor.
11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and striving of spirit; and there was no profit under the sun.
12 And I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; for what can the man do who comes after the king, when it has already been done?
13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness.
14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness; and I also considered that one event happens to them all.
15 Then I said in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise? And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.
16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool forever, since that which is now shall all be forgotten in the days to come. And how does the wise man die? Same as the fool!
17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is done under the sun is evil to me; for all is vanity and striving of spirit.
18 Yes, I hated all my labor which I had done under the sun; because I must leave it to the man who shall come after me.
19 And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he shall have rule over all my labor in which I have labored, and acted wisely under the sun. This also is vanity.
20 Therefore I turned my heart to despair over all the labor in which I had labored under the sun.
21 For there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and with success; yet he shall leave it as inheritance to a man who has not labored in it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
22 For what has man from all his labor, and from the striving of his heart, in which he has labored under the sun?
23 For all his days are sorrows, and his task grief; yea, his heart does not take rest in the night. This also is vanity.
24 Is it not good for a man to eat and drink and make his soul behold the good in his labor. This also, I saw, that it was from the hand of God.
25 For who can eat, or who can enjoy, apart from Me?
26 For God gives wisdom, and knowledge, and joy to a man who is good in His sight. But to the sinner He gives labor, to collect and gather, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and striving of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 3

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to root up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What profit does he have who works in that in which he labors?
10 I have seen the task which God has given to the sons of men to keep busy.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time; also He has set eternity in their hearts, so that no man can find out the work that God has made from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is no good for man, but to rejoice and to do good in his life.
13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor; it is the gift of God.
14 I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; and God does it so that men should fear before Him.
15 That which has been, is now; and that which is to be, already has been; and God exacts what is pursued.
16 Moreover I saw under the sun in the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, that wickedness was there.
17 I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18 I said in my heart concerning the manner of the sons of men, that God tests them, that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19 For that which happens to the sons of men also happens to beasts, even one thing happens to them. As this one dies, so that one dies; yea, they all have one breath; so that a man has no advantage over a beast; for all is vanity.
20 All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all return to dust again.
21 Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?
22 Therefore I have seen that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion; for who can bring him to see what shall be after him?

Ecclesiastes 4

1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold the tears of the oppressed ones, and they had no comforter! And on the side of those who oppressed them there was power, but they had no comforter.
2 Therefore I congratulated the dead who already have died, more than the living who are still alive.
3 Yea, better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4 Again, I considered all labor, and every successful work, that for this a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and striving of spirit.
5 The fool folds his hands together, and devours his own flesh.
6 Better is a hand filled with rest than two hands full with travail and striving of spirit.
7 Then I returned and saw vanity under the sun.
8 There is one alone, without a second; indeed, he has neither son nor brother; yet there is no end to all his labor; and his eyes are not satisfied with riches; and he does not ask, For whom do I labor and deprive my soul of good? This also is vanity; indeed, it is an evil task.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his companion; but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he does not have another to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?
12 And if one overpowers him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 A poor and wise youth is better than an old and foolish king, who will not be admonished any more.
14 For he comes out of prison to reign; although in his kingdom he was poor.
15 I saw all the living who walk under the sun, with the second youth who stands in his place.
16 There is no end of all the people, of all who have been before them; they also who come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and striving of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 5

1 Guard your feet when you go to the house of God, and be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools. For they do not know that they are doing evil.
2 Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be hasty to say a word before God. For God is in Heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few.
3 For a dream comes through much activity; and a fool's voice by the multitude of words.
4 When you vow a vow to God, do not hesitate to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you have vowed.
5 It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.
6 Do not permit your mouth to cause your flesh to sin; do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?
7 For in the multitude of dreams and increasing of words there is also vanity; but fear God.
8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, do not be astonished at the matter; for He who is higher than the highest watches; so there are those higher than they.
9 And the advantage of the land is for all; even a king has fields being tilled.
10 He who loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with gain. This also is vanity.
11 When the goods increase, those who eat it increase; what profit is it, then, to its owners, except to see it with their eyes?
12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.
13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun: riches kept for their owners to their hurt.
14 But those riches perish by evil use. And he begets a son, and there is nothing in his hand.
15 As he came forth from his mother's womb, naked he shall return, to go as he came. And from his labor he shall take away nothing that he may carry in his hand.
16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all, as he came, so shall he go; and what profit does he have who has labored for the wind?
17 All his days he eats in darkness, and he has much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.
18 Behold that which I have seen: It is good and right for one to eat and to drink, and to see good in all his labor that he labors under the sun all the days of his life, which God gives him; for it is his portion.
19 Also every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat of it and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.
20 For he does not excessively dwell on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy in the joy of his heart.

Ecclesiastes 6

1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is widespread among men:
2 A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner devours it. This is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
3 If a man begets a hundred, and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, and his soul is not filled with goodness, and there is also for him no burial; I say, a miscarriage is better than he;
4 for it comes in with vanity and goes out in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness.
5 Also it has not seen the sun, nor known anything. This one has more rest than the other.
6 Yea, though he lives twice a thousand years, yet he has seen no goodness. Do not all go to one place?
7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied.
8 For what has the wise more than the fool? What does the poor have, who knows how to walk before the living?
9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This is also vanity and striving of spirit.
10 That which one is, he has been named already, and it is known that he is man. And he is not able to contend with Him who is mightier than he.
11 Since there are many things that increase vanity, how is man any better?
12 For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow? For who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 7

1 A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the face the heart is made better.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools.
6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool; this also is vanity.
7 Surely oppression makes a fool out of a wise man; and a bribe destroys the heart.
8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Do not be hasty in your spirit to be angry; for anger rests in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say, Why were the former days better than these? For you do not ask wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and profitable to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense; but the excellence of knowledge is, that wisdom gives life to those who have it.
13 Consider the work of God; for who can make straight what He has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity take note that God also has ordained the one next to the other, in order that man should not find anything after him.
15 I have seen everything in the days of my vanity: There is a just one who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked one who prolongs life in his wickedness.
16 Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise; why should you destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overly wicked, and do not be a fool; why should you die before your time?
18 It is good that you should grasp this; yea, also from this do not withdraw your hand; for he who fears God shall come forth out from them all.
19 Wisdom makes the wise stronger than ten who dominate the city.
20 For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.
21 Also do not take to heart all words that are spoken; lest you hear your servant curse you.
22 For your own heart knows that you yourself have also cursed others many times.
23 All this I have proved by wisdom; I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.
24 As for that which is far off and exceedingly deep, who can find it out?
25 I set my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness;
26 and I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands like fetters. Whoever pleases God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be captured by her.
27 Behold, this I have found, says the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the reckoning,
28 which my soul still seeks, but I find not. One man among a thousand I have found, but a woman among all those I have not found.
29 Lo, this only I have found, that God has made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.

Ecclesiastes 8

1 Who is as the wise? And who knows the explanation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the strength of his face is changed.
2 I say, Keep the king's edict, because of the oath of God.
3 Do not be hasty to leave his presence. Do not take a stand in an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him;
4 because in the word of a king is power; and who may say to him, What are you doing?
5 Whoever keeps the command shall experience no evil decree; and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.
6 Because for every desire there is a time and judgment, for the evil of man increases greatly.
7 For he does not know what shall be; so who can tell him when it shall be?
8 No one has power over the spirit to restrain the spirit; nor power in the day of death; and there is no discharge from that war; nor shall wickedness deliver its owners.
9 All this I have seen, and I gave my heart to every work that is done under the sun. There is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.
10 And so I saw the wicked buried, they who had come and gone from the consecrated place. And they were forgotten in the city where they had done so. This also is vanity.
11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.
13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, nor shall he prolong his days, which are like a shadow; because he does not fear before God.
14 There is a vanity which is done on the earth: There are just ones to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked ones to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.
15 Then I praised gladness, because a man has no better thing under the sun than to eat and to drink and to be glad; for that shall remain with him of his labor for the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
16 When I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on the earth, not seeing sleep with the eyes, day or night;
17 then I looked at all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun; because though a man labors to seek it out, yet he shall not find it. Moreover, though a wise one speaks of knowing, yet he shall not be able to find it.

Ecclesiastes 9

1 For all this I took to heart, in order to explain it: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. No man knows, whether by love or hatred, all that is before them.
2 All happens alike to everyone; there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him who sacrifices, and to him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner. He who swears is as he who fears an oath.
3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all. Yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
4 For whoever is chosen, of all those living, there is confidence; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, have now perished; nor do they ever any longer have a part in anything that is done under the sun.
7 Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.
8 Let your garments always be white; and let your head lack no ointment.
9 Look on life with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life, which He has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity. For that is your share in this life, and in your labor which you labor under the sun.
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work nor reasoning nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol where you go.
11 I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.
12 For man also does not know his time; as the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.
13 This wisdom I have seen also under the sun, and it seemed great to me.
14 There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it and besieged it, and built huge bulwarks against it.
15 And a poor wise man was found in it, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no one remembered that poor man.
16 And I said, Wisdom is better than strength; but the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
17 The words of the wise are heard in quiet, more than the shouts of him who rules among fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.

Ecclesiastes 10

1 As dead flies cause the perfumer's ointment to stink and ferment; so does a little folly to one esteemed for wisdom and honor.
2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.
3 Even when a fool walks along the way, his heart fails; and he says to everyone that he is a fool.
4 If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, remain quietly where you are; for quietness heals great offenses.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like an error which comes from a ruler's presence:
6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place.
7 I have seen servants on horses, and princes walking on the ground like servants.
8 He who digs a pit may fall into it; and whoever breaks through a hedge may be bitten by a snake.
9 Whoever removes stones may be hurt by them; and he who splits wood may be endangered by it.
10 If the iron is blunt, and he does not whet the edge, then he must exert more strength. But wisdom gives excellent success.
11 The snake may bite if it is not charmed; and a master of the tongue is no better.
12 The words of a wise mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow him up.
13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness; and the end of his talk is wicked madness.
14 A fool also multiplies words; a man does not know what shall be; and who can tell him what shall be after him?
15 The labor of fools wearies him, because he does not even know how to go to the city.
16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your rulers eat in the morning.
17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your rulers eat at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18 Because of laziness the building decays; and through idleness of hands the house leaks.
19 Food is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money is the answer to everything.
20 Do not curse the king, not even in your thoughts; and do not curse the rich, not even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry the voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.

Ecclesiastes 11

1 Cast your bread upon the waters; for you shall find it after many days.
2 Give a share to seven, and also to eight; for you do not know what evil shall be on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain, they empty upon the earth; and if the tree falls toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall be.
4 He who watches the wind will not sow; and he who pays attention to the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones grow in the womb of a pregnant woman; even so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
6 In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which shall be blessed, either this or that, or whether they both alike shall be good.
7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.
8 But if a man lives many years, and rejoices in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that has come is vanity.
9 Rejoice in your youth, young man; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things, God will bring you into judgment.
10 Therefore remove vexation from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh; for childhood and black hair of youth are vanity.

Ecclesiastes 12

1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, so that the evil days do not come, nor the years draw near, when you shall say, I have no pleasure in them.
2 While the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain;
3 in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men bow down, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look out of the windows are darkened,
4 and the doors are shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are silenced;
5 also they are afraid of the heights, and terrors along the way, and the almond tree blossoms, and the grasshopper is a burden, and desire fails; because man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets;
6 or before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern;
7 then the dust shall return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
8 Vanity of vanities, says the preacher; all is vanity.
9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge. Yes, he pondered, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
10 The preacher sought to learn acceptable words; written words of uprightness and truth.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and as nails from the collection, fastened by the Master, given from one Shepherd.
12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: The making of many books has no end, and much study is a weariness to the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is for every man.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
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