The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:
“Vanity of vanities,” saith the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.”
What profit has a man for all his labors under the sun?
One generation passes away and another generation comes,
but the earth abides forever.
The sun also rises and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place from whence it arose.
The wind goes toward the south and turns about to the north.
It whirls continually, and returns again according to its circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full.
Unto the place from whence rivers come, there they again return.
Everything is wearisome beyond description.
The eye cannot be satisfied by seeing.
The ear cannot be filled with hearing.
That which has been, is that which shall be.
That which is done, is that which shall be done.
There is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which it can be said, “See, this is new”?
Anything that has not already been in the ages before us?
There is no remembrance of things past.
Neither shall there be any remembrance of things today
by those who live after us.
I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
With all my heart and wisdom, I applied myself
to searching out the truth of all things that are done under heaven.
God has given this sore travail to the sons of man to keep them occupied.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun,
and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight.
That which is not there cannot be numbered.
I communed with my heart, saying, “Lo, I have come to great estate,
and have gained more wisdom than all who ruled before me in Jerusalem.
Yea, my heart has absorbed great wisdom and knowledge.”
I gave over my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly.
And I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
For in much wisdom is much grief,
and he who increases his knowledge, increases his sorrow.