Ecclesiastes 1

1These are the words from the Teacher. The Teacher was a son of David and king of Jerusalem. 2Everything is so meaningless. The Teacher says that it is all a waste of time! 3Do people really gain anything from all the hard work they do in this life? ˻No!˼ 4People live and people die. But the earth continues forever. 5The sun rises and the sun goes down. And then the sun hurries to rise again in the same place. 6The wind blows to the south, and the wind blows to the north. The wind blows around and around. Then the wind turns and blows back to the place it began. 7All rivers flow again and again to the same place. They all flow to the sea, but the sea doesn’t become full. 8Words can’t fully explain things. But people continue speaking. Words come again and again to our ears. But our ears don’t become full. And our eyes don’t become full of the things we see. 9All things continue the way they have been since the beginning. The same things will be done that have always been done. There is nothing new in this life. 10A person might say, “Look, this is new!” But that thing has always been here. It was here before we were! 11People don’t remember the things that happened long ago. In the future, people will not remember what is happening now. And later, other people will not remember what those people before them did. 12I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13I decided to study and to use my wisdom to learn about all the things that are done in this life. I learned that it is a very hard thing that God gave us to do. 14I looked at all the things done on earth, and I saw that it is all a waste of time. It is like trying to catch the wind. 15˻You can’t change these things.˼ If something is crooked, you can’t say it is straight. And if something is missing, you can’t say it is there. 16I said to myself, “I am very wise. I am wiser than all the kings that ruled Jerusalem before me. I know what wisdom and knowledge really are!” 17I decided to learn how wisdom and knowledge are better than thinking foolish things. But I learned that trying to become wise is like trying to catch the wind. 18With much wisdom comes frustration. The person that gains more wisdom also gains more sorrow.

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