1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities! all is vanity. 3 What profit hath man of all his labour wherewith he laboureth under the sun? 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh, but the earth standeth for ever. 5 The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to its place where it ariseth. 6 The wind goeth towards the south, and turneth about towards the north: it turneth about continually, and the wind returneth again to its circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full: unto the place whither the rivers go, thither they go again. 8 All things are full of toil; none can express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which will be done: and there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already in the ages which were before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be remembrance of things that are to come with those who shall live afterwards.
12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: this grievous occupation hath God given to the children of men to weary themselves therewith. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and pursuit of the wind.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I have become great and have acquired wisdom more than all they that have been before me over Jerusalem; and my heart hath seen much of wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I applied my heart to the knowledge of wisdom, and to the knowledge of madness and folly: I perceived that this also is a striving after the wind.