The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "Vanity of vanities; all [is] vanity."
What profit does a man have of all his labor which he takes under the sun?
[One] generation passes away, and [another] generation comes, but the earth abides forever.
The sun also arises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to his place where he arose.
The wind goes toward the south, and turns about to the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea [is] not full; to the place from where the rivers come, there they return again.
All things [are] full of labor; man cannot utter [it], the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that has been, it [is that] which will be; and that which is done [is] that which will be done, and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.
Is there [any] thing whereof it may be said, "See, this [is] new?" It has been already of old time, which was before us.
[There is] no remembrance of former [things]; neither will there be [any] remembrance of [things] that are to come with [those] who will come after.
I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all [things] that are done under heaven, God has given this sore travail to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
[That which is] crooked cannot be made straight, and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
I communed with my own heart, saying, "Behold, I have come to a great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all [those] who have been before me in Jerusalem, indeed, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge."
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly, I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
For in much wisdom [is] much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
I said in my heart, "Go now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure," and, behold, this also [is] vanity.
I said of laughter, "[It is] mad," and of mirth, "What does it [do]?"
I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, until I might see what [was] good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
I made myself great works; I built myself houses; I planted myself vineyards.
I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all [kind of] fruits.
I made myself pools of water, to water therewith the wood that brings forth trees.
I got [myself] servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all who were in Jerusalem before me.
I gathered myself also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces, I got myself men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, [as] musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
So I was great, and increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem, also my wisdom remained with me.
And whatever my eyes desired, I did not keep from them, I did not withhold my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my portion of all my labor.
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done, and on the labor that I had labored to do, and, behold, all [was] vanity and vexation of spirit, and [there was] no profit under the sun.
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly, for what [can] the man [do] who comes after the king? [Even] that which has already been done.
Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness.
The wise man's eyes [are] in his head; but the fool walks in darkness, and I myself perceived also that one event happens to them all.
Then I said in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart, that this also [is] vanity.
For [there is] no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool forever; seeing that which now [is] in the days to come will all be forgotten. And how does the wise [man] die? As the fool.
Therefore I hated life; because the work that is done under the sun [is] grievous to me, for all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
Indeed, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun, because I should leave it to the man who will be after me.
And who knows whether he will be a wise [man] or a fool? Yet he will have rule over all my labor wherein I have labored, and wherein I have shown myself wise under the sun. This [is] also vanity.
Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labor which I took under the sun.
For there is a man whose labor [is] in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man who has not labored therein, he will leave it [for] his portion. This also [is] vanity and a great evil.
For what does man have of all his labor, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he has labored under the sun?
For all his days [are] sorrows, and his travail grief; indeed, his heart does not take rest in the night. This is also vanity.
[There is] nothing better for a man, [than] that he should eat and drink, and [that] he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This I also saw, that it [was] from the hand of God.
For who can eat, or who else can hasten [hereto], more than I?
For [God] gives wisdom to a man who [is] good in His sight, and knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner He gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that He may give to [him who is] good before God. This also [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which was] planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit does he who works have in that wherein he labors?
I have seen the travail, which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
He has made every [thing] beautiful in his time, also He has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end.
I know that [there is] no good in them, but for [a man] to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it [is] the gift of God.
I know that, whatever God does, it will be forever, nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it, and God does [it], that [men] should fear before Him.
That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and God requires that which has past.
And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, [that] wickedness [was] there; and the place of righteousness, [that] iniquity [was] there.
I said in my heart, "God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for [there is] a time there for every purpose and for every work."
I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them, as the one dies, so dies the other; indeed, they all have one breath; so that a man has no preeminence above a beast, for all [is] vanity.
All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?
Therefore I perceive that [there is] nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that [is] his portion, for who will bring him to see what will be after him?
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun, and behold the tears of [such who were] oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors [there was] power; but they had no comforter.
Therefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still alive.
Indeed, better [is he] than both of them, who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this, a man is envied of his neighbor. This [is] also vanity and vexation of spirit.
The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh.
Better [is] a handful [with] quietness, than both the hands full [with] travail and vexation of spirit.
Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.
There is one [alone], and [there is] not a second; indeed, he has neither child or brother, yet [is there] no end of all his labor; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither [does he say], "For whom do I labor, and bereave my soul of good?" This [is] also vanity, indeed, it [is] a sore travail.
Two [are] better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow, but woe to him [who is] alone when he falls; for [he has] no other to help him up.
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat, but how can one be warm [alone]?
And if one prevails against him, two will withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Better [is] a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no longer be admonished.
For he comes to reign out of prison; whereas also [he who is] born in his kingdom becomes poor.
I considered all the living who walk under the sun, with the second child who will stand up in his stead.
[There is] no end of all the people, [even] of all who have been before them, those also who come after will not rejoice in him. Surely this also [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
Keep your foot when you go to the House of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not consider that they do evil.
Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be hasty to utter [any] thing before God, for God [is] in heaven, and you upon earth, therefore let your words be few.
For a dream comes through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice [is known] by a multitude of words.
When you vow a vow to God, do not defer to pay it; for [He has] no pleasure in fools, pay that which you have vowed.
Better [is it] that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.
Do not allow your mouth to cause your flesh to sin; neither do you say before the angel, that it [was] an error, why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands?
For in the multitude of dreams and many words [there are] also [various] vanities, but fear God.
If you see the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, do not marvel at the matter, for [he who is] higher than the highest regards; and [there is] higher than them.
Moreover, the profit of the earth is for all, the king [himself] is served by the field.
He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance with increase, this [is] also vanity.
When goods increase, those who eat them are increased, and what good [is there] to the owners thereof, except the beholding [of them] with their eyes?
The sleep of a laboring man [is] sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.
There is a sore evil [which] I have seen under the sun, [namely], riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.
But those riches perish by evil travail, and he fathers a son, and [there is] nothing in his hand.
As he came forth of his mother's womb, he will return naked to go as he came, and will take nothing of his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.
And this also [is] a sore evil, [that] in all points as he came, so he will go, and what profit does he who has labored have for the wind?
All his days, he also eats in darkness, and [he has] much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.
Behold [that] which I have seen, [it is] good and beautiful [for one] to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he takes under the sun all the days of his life, which God gives him, for it [is] his portion.
Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this [is] the gift of God.
For he will not much remember the days of his life; because God answers [him] in the joy of his heart.
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it [is] common among men.
A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him no power to eat thereof, but a stranger eats it, this [is] vanity, and it [is] an evil disease.
If a man fathers a hundred [children], and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, and his soul is not filled with good, and also [that] he has no burial; I say, [that] an untimely birth [is] better than him.
For he comes in with vanity, and departs in darkness, and his name will be covered with darkness.
Moreover he has not seen the sun, nor known [anything], this has more rest than the other.
Indeed, though he lives a thousand years twice [told], yet has he seen no good, do all not go to one place?
All the labor of man [is] for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
For what does the wise have more than the fool? What does the poor have, who knows to walk before the living?
Better [is] the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire, this [is] also vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which has been is already named, and it is known that it [is] man, neither may he contend with him who is mightier than him.
Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what [is] man the better?
For who knows what [is] good for man in [this] life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow? For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?
A good name [is] better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
[It is] better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting, for that [is] the end of all men; and the living will lay [it] to his heart.
Sorrow [is] better than laughter, for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
The heart of the wise [is] in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools [is] in the house of mirth.
[It is] better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so [is] the laughter of the fool, this also [is] vanity.
Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a gift destroys the heart.
Better [is] the end of a thing than the beginning thereof, [and] the patient in spirit [is] better than the proud in spirit.
Do not be hasty in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.
Do not say, "What is [the cause] that the former days were better than these?" For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.
Wisdom [is] good with an inheritance, and [by it there is] profit to those who see the sun.
For wisdom [is] a defense, [and] money [is] a defense, but the excellency of knowledge [is, that] wisdom gives life to those who have it.
Consider the work of God, for who can make [that] straight, which He has made crooked?
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider, God has also set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
I have seen all [things] in the days of my vanity, there is a just [man] who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked [man] who prolongs [his life] in his wickedness.
Do not be righteous over much; neither make yourself over wise, why should you destroy yourself?
Do not be over much wicked, neither be foolish, why should you die before your time?
[It is] good that you should take hold of this; indeed, also from this, do not withdraw your hand, for he who fears God will come forth of them all.
Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten mighty [men] who are in the city.
For [there is] not a just man upon earth, who does good, and does not sin.
Also take no heed to all words that are spoken; unless you hear your servant curse you.
For oftentimes also your own heart knows that you yourself likewise have cursed others.
All this, I have proved by wisdom, I said, "I will be wise;" but it [was] far from me.
That which is far off, and exceedingly deep, who can find it out?
I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason [of things], and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness [and] madness.
And I find the woman more bitter than death, whose heart [is] snares and nets, [and] her hands [as] bands, whoever pleases God will escape from her; but the sinner will be taken by her.
"Behold, I have found this," says the Preacher, [counting] one by one, to find out the account.
Which yet my soul seeks, but I do not find, I have found one man among a thousand; but I have not found a woman among all those.
Behold, I have found only this, that God has made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
Who [is] as the wise [man]? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the boldness of his face will be changed.
I [counsel you] to keep the king's commandment, and [that] in regard of the oath of God.
Do not be hasty to go out of his sight, do not stand in an evil thing; for he does whatever pleases him.
Where the word of a king [is, there is] power, and who may say to him, "What do you do?"
Whoever keeps the commandment will feel no evil thing, and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.
Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man [is] great upon him.
For he does not know that which will be, for who can tell him when it will be?
[There is] no man who has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither [has he] power in the day of death, and [there is] no discharge in [that] war; neither will wickedness deliver those who are given to it.
All this, I have seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun, [there is] a time wherein one man rules over another to his own hurt.
And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done, this [is] also vanity.
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his [days] are prolonged, yet surely I know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.
But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong [his] days, [which are] as a shadow; because he does not fear before God.
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there are just [men], to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked [men], to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous, I said that this [is] also vanity.
Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to rejoice, for that will abide with him of his labor the days of his life, which God gives him under the sun.
When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth, (for also [there is that] neither day or night sees sleep with his eyes).
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun, because though a man labors to seek [it] out, yet he will not find [it]; indeed further; though a wise [man] thinks to know [it], yet he will not be able to find [it].
For all this, I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, [are] in the hand of God, no man knows either love or hatred [by] all [that is] before them.
All [things come] alike to all, [there is] one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him who sacrifices, and to him who does not sacrifice, as [is] the good, so [is] the sinner; [and] he who swears, as [he] who fears an oath.
This [is] an evil among all [things] that are done under the sun, that [there is] one event to all, indeed, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness [is] in their heart while they live, and after that [they go] to the dead.
For to him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything, neither do they have a reward anymore; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, has now perished; neither do they have a portion anymore forever in any [thing] that is done under the sun.
Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a good heart; for God now accepts your works.
Let your garments always be white; and let your head lack no ointment.
Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of the life of your vanity, which He has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity, for that [is] your portion in [this] life, and in your labor which you take under the sun.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do [it] with your might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.
For man also does not know his time, as the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so [are] the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.
This wisdom, I have also seen under the sun, and it [seemed] great to me.
[There was] a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it.
Now there was found in it, a poor wise man, and he, by his wisdom, delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.
Then I said, "Wisdom [is] better than strength, nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard."
The words of wise [men are] heard in quiet more than the cry of him who rules among fools.
Wisdom [is] better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor, [so does] a little folly him who is in reputation for wisdom [and] honor.
A wise man's heart [is] at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.
Indeed also, when he who is a fool walks by the way, his wisdom fails [him], and he says to everyone [that] he [is] a fool.
If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, do not leave your place; for yielding pacifies great offenses.
There is an evil [which] I have seen under the sun, as an error [which] proceeds from the ruler.
Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place.
I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
He who digs a pit will fall into it; and whoever breaks a hedge, a serpent will bite him.
Whoever removes stones will be hurt therewith; [and] he who cleaves wood will be endangered thereby.
If the iron is blunt, and he does not whet the edge, then he must put more strength, but wisdom [is] profitable to direct.
Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
The words of a wise man's mouth [are] gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow himself up.
The beginning of the words of his mouth [is] foolishness, and the end of his talk [is] mischievous madness.
A fool also is full of words, a man cannot tell what will be; and what will be after him, who can tell him?
The labor of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he does not know how to go to the city.
Woe to you, O land, when your king [is] a child, and your princes eat in the morning!
Blessed [are] you, O land, when your king [is] the son of nobles, and your princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
By much slothfulness, the building decays; and through idleness of the hands, the house drops through.
A feast is made for laughter, and wine gives rejoice, but money answers all [things].
Do not curse the king, no not in your thought; and do not curse the rich in your bedchamber, for a bird of the air will carry the voice, and that which has wings will tell the matter.
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for you do not know what evil will be upon the earth.
If the clouds are full of rain, they empty [themselves] upon the earth, and if the tree falls toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will be.
He who observes the wind will not sow; and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
As you do not know what [is] the way of the spirit, [nor] how the bones [grow] in the womb of her who is with child, even so you do not know the works of God who makes all.
In the morning, sow your seed, and in the evening, do not withhold your hand, for you do not know whether will prosper, either this or that, or whether they both [will be] good alike.
Truly the light [is] sweet, and [it is] a pleasant [thing] for the eyes to behold the sun.
But if a man lives many years, [and] rejoices in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they will be many. All that comes [is] vanity.
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes, but know that for all these [things], God will bring you into Judgment.
Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth [are] vanity.
Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days do not come, nor do the years draw near, when you will say, "I have no pleasure in them;"
While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, are not darkened, nor do the clouds return after the rain.
In the day when the keepers of the house will tremble, and the strong men will bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows are darkened,
And the doors will be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he will rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music will be brought low;
Also [when] they will be afraid of [that which is] high, and fears [will be] in the way, and the almond tree will flourish, and the grasshopper will be a burden, and desire will fail, because man goes to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.
Or ever the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "All [is] vanity."
And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; indeed, he gave good heed, and sought out, [and] set many proverbs in order.
The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and [that which was] written [was] upright, [even] words of truth.
The words of the wise [are] as goads, and as nails fastened [by] the masters of assemblies, [which] are given from one shepherd.
And further, by these, my son, be admonished, of making many books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter - fear God, and keep His commandments, for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. *4:131
For God will bring every work into Judgment, with every secret thing, *69:18
whether [it is] good, or whether [it is] evil.