I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem,
References for Ecclesiastes 1:12
applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with.
I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.
References for Ecclesiastes 1:14
What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted.
I said to myself, "I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge."
And I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a chasing after wind.
References for Ecclesiastes 1:17
For in much wisdom is much vexation, and those who increase knowledge increase sorrow.