Ecclesiastes, Chapter 1 - The Preacher's Lament

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Ecclesiastes 1:1
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:
Ecclesiastes 1:2
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
Ecclesiastes 1:3
What does man gain from all his labor in which he labors under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 1:4
One generation goes, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever.
Ecclesiastes 1:5
The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it rises.
Ecclesiastes 1:6
The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north. It turns around continually as it goes, and the wind returns again to its courses.
Ecclesiastes 1:7
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.
Ecclesiastes 1:8
All things are full of weariness beyond uttering. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
Ecclesiastes 1:9
That which has been is that which shall be, and that which has been done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:10
Is there a thing of which it may be said, “Behold, this is new”? It has been long ago, in the ages which were before us.
Ecclesiastes 1:11
There is no memory of the former; neither shall there be any memory of the latter that are to come, among those that shall come after.
Ecclesiastes 1:12
I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
Ecclesiastes 1:13
I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the sky. It is a heavy burden that God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
Ecclesiastes 1:14
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.
Ecclesiastes 1:15
That which is crooked can’t be made straight; and that which is lacking can’t be counted.
Ecclesiastes 1:16
I said to myself, “Behold, I have obtained for myself great wisdom above all who were before me in Jerusalem. Yes, my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.”
Ecclesiastes 1:17
I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also was a chasing after wind.
Ecclesiastes 1:18
For in much wisdom is much grief; and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

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Next Read: Chapter 2

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