What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has already been, in the ages before us.
The people of long ago are not remembered, nor will there be any remembrance of people yet to come by those who come after them.
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.