Ecclesiastes 3 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth: 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 A right time for birth and another for death, A right time to plant and another to reap, 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 A right time to kill and another to heal, A right time to destroy and another to construct, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 A right time to cry and another to laugh, A right time to lament and another to cheer, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 A right time to make love and another to abstain, A right time to embrace and another to part, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 A right time to search and another to count your losses, A right time to hold on and another to let go, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 A right time to rip out and another to mend, A right time to shut up and another to speak up, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 A right time to love and another to hate, A right time to wage war and another to make peace. 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
9 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? 9 What does the worker gain from his toil?
10 I've had a good look at what God has given us to do - busywork, mostly. 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
11 True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time - but he's left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he's coming or going. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12 I've decided that there's nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
13 That's it - eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It's God's gift. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God.
14 I've also concluded that whatever God does, that's the way it's going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God's done it and that's it. That's so we'll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
15 Whatever was, is. Whatever will be, is. That's how it always is with God. 15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.
16 I took another good look at what's going on: The very place of judgment - corrupt! 16 And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment--wickedness was there, in the place of justice--wickedness was there.
17 The place of righteousness - corrupt! I said to myself, "God will judge righteous and wicked." There's a right time for every thing, every deed - and there's no getting around it. 17 I thought in my heart, "God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed."
18 I said to myself regarding the human race, "God's testing the lot of us, showing us up as nothing but animals." 18 I also thought, "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.
19 Humans and animals come to the same end - humans die, animals die. We all breathe the same air. So there's really no advantage in being human. None. Everything's smoke. 19 Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.
20 We all end up in the same place - we all came from dust, we all end up as dust. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.
21 Nobody knows for sure that the human spirit rises to heaven or that the animal spirit sinks into the earth. 21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?"
22 So I made up my mind that there's nothing better for us men and women than to have a good time in whatever we do - that's our lot. Who knows if there's anything else to life? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?