Ecclesiastes 1 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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The Message (MSG) New International Version (NIV)
1 These are the words of the Quester, David's son and king in Jerusalem: 1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
2 Smoke, nothing but smoke. [That's what the Quester says.] There's nothing to anything - it's all smoke. 2 "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
3 What's there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone? 3 What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?
4 One generation goes its way, the next one arrives, but nothing changes - it's business as usual for old planet earth. 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun comes up and the sun goes down, then does it again, and again - the same old round. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows south, the wind blows north. Around and around and around it blows, blowing this way, then that - the whirling, erratic wind. 6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
7 All the rivers flow into the sea, but the sea never fills up. The rivers keep flowing to the same old place, and then start all over and do it again. 7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
8 Everything's boring, utterly boring - no one can find any meaning in it. Boring to the eye, boring to the ear. 8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What was will be again, what happened will happen again. There's nothing new on this earth. Year after year it's the same old thing. 9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Does someone call out, "Hey, this is new"? Don't get excited - it's the same old story. 10 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.
11 Nobody remembers what happened yesterday. And the things that will happen tomorrow? Nobody'll remember them either. Don't count on being remembered. 11 There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.
12 Call me "the Quester." I've been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 I looked most carefully into everything, searched out all that is done on this earth. And let me tell you, there's not much to write home about. God hasn't made it easy for us. 13 I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men!
14 I've seen it all and it's nothing but smoke - smoke, and spitting into the wind. 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
15 Life's a corkscrew that can't be straightened, A minus that won't add up. 15 What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
16 I said to myself, "I know more and I'm wiser than anyone before me in Jerusalem. I've stockpiled wisdom and knowledge." 16 I thought to myself, "Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge."
17 What I've finally concluded is that so-called wisdom and knowledge are mindless and witless - nothing but spitting into the wind. 17 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.
18 Much learning earns you much trouble. The more you know, the more you hurt. 18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.