1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. 3 What profit has man from all his labor in which he labors under the sun? 4 One generation goes, and another generation comes, but the earth abides forever. 5 The sun also arises, and the sun goes down and hastens to its place where it arises. 6 The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north. It turns around continually in its course, and the wind returns again to its circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place from where the rivers come, there they go again. 8 All things are full of weariness, man cannot utter [it]. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 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. 10 Is there a thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? It has been long ago, in the ages which were before us. 11 There is no remembrance of the former [things], nor shall there be any remembrance of the latter that are to come, among those who shall come after.
12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven. It is a great tribulation that God has given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and, behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight, and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16 I communed with my own heart, saying, Lo, I have gotten for me great wisdom above all who were before me in Jerusalem. Yea, my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also was a striving after wind.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.