Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

3  For everything there is an appointed time,+ even a time* for every affair under the heavens:  a time for birth+ and a time to die;+ a time to plant and a time to uproot what was planted;+  a time to kill+ and a time to heal;+ a time to break down and a time to build;+  a time to weep+ and a time to laugh;+ a time to wail+ and a time to skip about;+  a time to throw stones away+ and a time to bring stones together;+ a time to embrace+ and a time to keep away from embracing;+  a time to seek+ and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away;+  a time to rip apart+ and a time to sew together;+ a time to keep quiet+ and a time to speak;+  a time to love and a time to hate;+ a time for war+ and a time for peace.+  What advantage is there for the doer in what he is working hard at?+ 10  I have seen the occupation that God has given to the sons of mankind in which to be occupied.+ 11  Everything he has made pretty in its time.+ Even time indefinite he has put in their heart,+ that mankind* may never find out the work that the [true] God has made from the start* to the finish.+ 12  I have come to know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good during one’s life;+ 13  and also that every man* should eat and indeed drink and see good for all his hard work.+ It is the gift of God.+ 14  I have come to know that everything that the [true] God makes, it will prove to be to time indefinite.+ To it there is nothing to add and from it there is nothing to subtract;+ but the [true] God himself has made it,+ that people may be afraid on account of him.+ 15  What has happened to be, it had already been, and what is to come to be has already proved to be;+ and the [true] God+ himself keeps seeking that which is pursued.+ 16  And I have further seen under the sun the place of justice where there was wickedness and the place of righteousness where wickedness was.+ 17  I myself have said in my heart:+ “The [true] God will judge both the righteous one and the wicked one,+ for there is a time for every affair and concerning every work there.”+ 18  I, even I, have said in my heart with regard to the sons of mankind that the [true] God is going to select them, that they may see that they themselves are beasts.+ 19  For there is an eventuality* as respects the sons of mankind and an eventuality as respects the beast, and they have the same eventuality.+ As the one dies,* so the other dies;+ and they all have but one spirit,*+ so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast, for everything is vanity. 20  All are going to one place.+ They have all come to be from the dust,*+ and they are all returning to the dust.+ 21  Who is there knowing the spirit of the sons of mankind, whether it is ascending upward; and the spirit of the beast, whether it is descending downward to the earth?+ 22  And I have seen that there is nothing better than that the man should rejoice in his works,+ for that is his portion; because who will bring him in to look on what is going to be after him?+


Or, “season; seasonable time.”
Lit., “head.”
Lit., “the earthling man.” Heb., ha·ʼa·dhamʹ.
Or, “every earthling man.” Heb., kol-ha·ʼa·dhamʹ.
Or, “an event.” Heb., miq·rehʹ.
Lit., “As this [one] dies.” Heb., kemohthʹ zeh.
Or, “and . . . breath.” Heb., weruʹach; Gr., pneuʹma.
From the dust.” Heb., min-he·ʽa·pharʹ. See Ge 2:7 ftn, “Dust.”