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1 The words of the congregator,*+ the son of David the king in Jerusalem.+ 2 “The greatest vanity!”*+ the congregator has said, “the greatest vanity! Everything is vanity!”+ 3 What profit does a man* have in all his hard work at which he works+ hard under the sun?*+ 4 A generation is going,+ and a generation is coming;+ but the earth is standing even to time indefinite.+ 5 And the sun also has flashed forth, and the sun has set,+ and it is coming panting to its place where it is going to flash forth.+ 6 The wind* is going to the south, and it is circling around to the north.+ Round and round it* is continually circling,+ and right back to its circlings+ the wind* is returning. 7 All the winter torrents+ are going forth to the sea,+ yet the sea itself is not full.+ To the place where the winter torrents are going forth, there they are returning so as to go forth.+ 8 All things are wearisome;+ no one is able to speak of it. The eye is not satisfied at seeing,+ neither is the ear filled from hearing.+ 9 That which has come to be, that is what will come to be;+ and that which has been done, that is what will be done; and so there is nothing new under the sun.*+ 10 Does anything exist of which one may say: “See this; it is new”? It has already had existence for time indefinite;+ what has come into existence is from time prior to us.+ 11 There is no remembrance of people of former times, nor will there be of those also who will come to be later.+ There will prove to be no remembrance even of them among those who will come to be still later on.+ 12 I, the congregator,* happened to be king over Israel in Jerusalem.+ 13 And I set my heart to seek and explore wisdom+ in relation to everything that has been done under the heavens—the calamitous occupation that God has given to the sons of mankind* in which to be occupied.+ 14 I saw all the works that were done under the sun,+ and, look! everything was vanity and a striving after wind.*+ 15 That which is made crooked cannot be made straight,+ and that which is wanting cannot possibly be counted. 16 I, even I, spoke with my heart,+ saying: “Look! I myself have greatly increased in wisdom more than anyone that happened to be before me in Jerusalem,+ and my own heart saw a great deal of wisdom and knowledge.”+ 17 And I proceeded to give my heart to knowing wisdom and to knowing madness,+ and I have come to know folly,+ that this too is a striving after wind.*+ 18 For in the abundance of wisdom there is an abundance of vexation,+ so that he that increases knowledge increases pain.+
^ Or, “assembler; convener; convoker,” M; LXXVg, “Ecclesiastes,” that is, a member of an ecclesia (congregation; assembly).
^ “The greatest vanity!” Lit., “Vanity of vanities,” M(Heb., havelʹ hava·limʹ)LXXSyVg.
^ Lit., “to an earthling man.” Heb., la·ʼa·dhamʹ.
^ “Under the sun.” Heb., ta·chathʹ hash·shaʹmesh. This phrase occurs 29 times in Ecclesiastes.
^ “The wind.” Lit., “It,” possibly referring to the sun in its movements southward and northward between the summer and winter solstices.
^ “It.” Lit., “the wind,” but in translation it is transferred to the beginning of the vs.
^ See vs 3 ftn, “Sun.”
^ See vs 1 ftn.
^ Or, “men.” Heb., ha·ʼa·dhamʹ.
^ See vs 6, second ftn on “Wind.”
^ See vs 6, second ftn on “Wind.”