Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

3  There is a season of everything, and a time of every concern under the heavens: 2  a time of being born and a time of dying, a time of planting and a time of grubbing out what was planted, 3  a time of killing and a time of healing, a time of wrecking and a time of building, 4  a time of weeping and a time of laughing, a time of wailing and a time of dancing, 5  a time of throwing stones about and a time of gathering up stones, a time of embracing and a time of shunning embraces, 6  a time of hunting up and a time of losing, a time of keeping and a time of throwing away, 7  a time of tearing and a time of sewing, a time of keeping silence and a time of speaking, 8  a time of loving and a time of hating, a time of war and a time of peace. 9  How much is the doer better off by his trouble? 10  I have seen the employment God has given to mankind to employ themselves at: 11  he has made everything fine at its time, he has even put eternity into their minds except that man does not find out the work God has done from beginning to end; 12  I have learned that there is nothing good among them but to enjoy one’s self and get on well while one is alive. 13 * And besides, when any man does eat and drink and see good by all his trouble it is God’s gift. 14 ** I have learned that everything that God makes will be so forever; there is no adding to it nor subtracting from it; and God makes them fear before him. 15 * Whatever is, already was; and what shall be, already is; and God hunts up antiquated things. 16 ** And furthermore I saw under the sun, in the place for judgment, wrong there; and in the place for the right-doer, the wrong-doer there. 17 * I said to myself “God will judge the right-doer and the wrong-doer, because he has set a time of every concern and for every action.” 18  I said to myself “on account of mankind, for God to sift them out and for their own seeing that they are cattle, 19 ** because mankind are an accident and cattle are an accident, and they have one fate: as this one dies, so does that one, and everything has one spirit, and man has no superiority over cattle because everything is nonsense. 20  Everything goes to one place: everything is out of the clay and everything goes back to the clay; 21 * and who knows as to mankind’s spirit whether it goes up and as to cattle’s spirit whether it goes down to the ground?” 22  And I saw that there was nothing better than that man should enjoy himself in his works, because that is his portion; for who will bring him to look upon what is to be after him?


3:13 Lit. any man who does
3:14 Lit. everything that God makes, that will be forever
3:14 Lit. has made that they are to fear
3:15 Lit. hunts up a thing that has been chased
3:16 (judgment) Or justice
3:16 Var.* and in the place for right, wrong there Conj. and in the place for right, crime there
3:17 Codd.* because there is a time of every concern and for every action there
3:19 Var. because mankind’s fate and cattle’s fate is one fate that they have
3:19 Var. spirit; and what superiority has man over cattle? none, because
3:21 Var. clay. Who knows