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 does a man have of all his labour which he takes under the sun? 4 One generation passes away, and another generation comes, but the earth abides for ever. 5 The sun arises, and the sun goes down, and with desire returns to his place from which he arises again. 6 The wind goes toward the south and turns about unto the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns again according to its circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, there they return again. 8 All things are full of labour; more than man can express; the eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? it has been already of old time which was before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven (this sore travail God has given to the sons of man that they be occupied in it). 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight, and that which is lacking cannot be numbered.
16 I communed with my own heart, saying, Behold, I am come to great estate and have gotten more wisdom than all those that have been before me in Jerusalem; and my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom and knowledge and to know folly and those who are mad; I learned in the end that this also is vexation of spirit.