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Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 (English Standard Version)

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A Time for Everything

1 For everything there is a season, and 1a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to 2die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck 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 3weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to 4dance; 5 a time to 5cast away stones, and a time to 6gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to 7refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to 8lose; a time to keep, and a time to 9cast away; 7 a time to 10tear, and a time to sew; a time to 11keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to 12hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

The God-Given Task

9 What 13gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen 14the business that 15God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has 16made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot 17find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is 18nothing better for them than to be joyful and to 19do good as long as they live; 13 also 20that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil--this is 21God's gift to man. 14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; 22nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, 23already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God 24seeks what has been driven away.a
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