Ecclesiastes 1 NIV

Everything Is Meaningless

1 The words of the Teacher,a son of David, king in Jerusalem:

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    • a 1:1 - Or "the leader of the assembly" ; also in verses 2 and 12
      2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

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      3 What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?

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      4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.

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      5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

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      6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
      7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

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      8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.

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      9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

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      10 Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
      11 No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.

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      Wisdom Is Meaningless

      12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

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          13 I 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!

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          14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

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          15 What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.

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          16 I 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.”

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          17 Then 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.

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          18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

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