Ecclesiastes 1
English Standard VersionNew Living Translation
1The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.1These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem. Everything Is Meaningless
2Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.2“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
3What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?3What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?
4A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.4Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes.
5The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.5The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.
6The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.6The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.
7All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.7Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.
8All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.8Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
9What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.9History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
10Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us.10Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.
11There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.11We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now. The Teacher Speaks: The Futility of Wisdom
12I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.12I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem.
13And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.13I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race.
14I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.14I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.
15What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted.15What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.
16I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.”16I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.”
17And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.17So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.
18For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.18The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.
ESV Text Edition: 2016. The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31
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