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.
No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.
I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
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!
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
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.”
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.
For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.