Ecclesiastes 1
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1The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:1The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."2"Utterly pointless," says the Teacher. "Absolutely pointless; everything is pointless."
3What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?3What does a man gain from all of the work that he undertakes on earth?
4Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.4A generation goes, a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
5The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.5The sun rises, the sun sets, then rushes back to where it arose.
6The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.6The wind blows southward, then northward, constantly circulating, and the wind comes back again in its courses.
7All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.7All the rivers flow toward the sea, but the sea is never full; then rivers return to the headwaters where they began.
8All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.8Everything is wearisome, more than man is able to express. The eye is never satisfied by seeing, nor the ear by hearing.
9What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.9Whatever has happened, will happen again; whatever has been done, will be done again. There is nothing new on earth.
10Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.10Does anything exist about which someone might say, "Look at this! Is this new?" It happened ages ago; it existed before we did.
11No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.11No one remembers those in the past, nor will they be remembered by those who come after them.
12I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.12I, the Teacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13I 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!13I dedicated myself to using wisdom for study and discovery of everything that is done under heaven. God uses terrible things so human beings will struggle with life.
14I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.14I observed every activity done on earth. My conclusion: all of it is pointless—like chasing after the wind.
15What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.15What is crooked cannot be made straight; what is not there cannot be counted.
16I 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."16I told myself, "I have become greater and wiser than anyone who ruled before me in Jerusalem—yes, I have acquired a great deal of wisdom and knowledge."
17Then 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.17So I dedicated myself to learn about wisdom and knowledge, and about insanity and foolishness. And I discovered that this is also like chasing after the wind.
18For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.18For with much wisdom there is much sorrow; the more someone adds to knowledge, the more someone adds to grief.
New International Version (NIV)

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The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
Proverbs 31
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