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Ecclesiastes 1 (English Standard Version)

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All Is Vanity

1 The words of 1the Preacher,a the son of David, 2king in Jerusalem. 2 3Vanityb of vanities, says 4the Preacher, 5vanity of vanities! 6All is vanity. 3 7What 8does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? 4 A generation goes, and a generation comes, but 9the earth remains forever. 5 10The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastensc to the place where it rises. 6 11The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. 7 All 12streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. 8 All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; 13the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 14What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been 15already in the ages before us. 11 There is no 16remembrance of former things,d nor will there be any remembrance of later thingse yet to be among those who come after.

The Vanity of Wisdom

12 I 17the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I 18applied my heartf to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy 19business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is 20vanity and a striving after wind.g 15 21What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted. 16 I said in my heart, "I have acquired great 22wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge." 17 And I 23applied my heart to know wisdom and to know 24madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but 25a striving after wind. 18 For 26in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
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