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Ecclesiastes 3 (New International Reader's Version)

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There Is a Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything. There's a time for everything that is done on earth. 2 There is a time to be born. And there's a time to die. There is a time to plant. And there's a time to pull up what is planted. 3 There is a time to kill. And there's a time to heal. There is a time to tear down. And there's a time to build up. 4 There is a time to cry. And there's a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad. And there's a time to dance. 5 There is a time to scatter stones. And there's a time to gather them. There is a time to hug. And there's a time not to hug. 6 There is a time to search. And there's a time to stop searching. There is a time to keep. And there's a time to throw away. 7 There is a time to tear. And there's a time to mend. There is a time to be silent. And there's a time to speak. 8 There is a time to love. And there's a time to hate. There is a time for war. And there's a time for peace. 9 What does the worker get for his hard work? 10 I've seen the heavy load God has put on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also given men a sense of what he's been doing down through the ages. But they can't completely figure out what he's done from the beginning to the end. 12 They should be happy and do good while they live. I know there's nothing better for them to do than that. 13 Everyone should eat and drink. People should be satisfied with all of their hard work. That is God's gift to them. 14 I know that everything God does will last forever. Nothing can be added to it. And nothing can be taken from it. God does that so men will have respect for him. 15 Everything that now exists has already been. And what is coming has existed before. God will judge those who treat others badly. 16 Here's something else I saw on earth. Where people should be treated right, they are treated wrong. Where people should be treated fairly, they are treated unfairly. 17 I said to myself, "God will judge godly and sinful people alike. He has a time for every act. He has a time for everything that is done." 18 I also thought, "God puts human beings to the test. Then they can see they are just like animals. 19 What happens to animals happens to people too. Death waits for people and animals alike. People die, just as animals do. All of them have the same breath. People don't have any advantage over animals. Nothing has any meaning. 20 "People and animals go to the same place. All of them come from dust. And all of them return to dust. 21 Who can know whether the spirit of a man goes up? Who can tell whether the spirit of an animal goes down into the earth?" 22 So man should enjoy his work. That's what God made him for. I saw that there's nothing better for him to do than that. After all, who can show him what will happen after he is gone?
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