1 The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 "Vanity of vanities!" says the Teacher, "Vanity of vanities! All [is] vanity!" 3 What does a person gain in all his toil with which he toils under the sun? 4 A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth stands forever. 5 The sun rises, and the sun goes down; to its place it hurries, and there it rises again. 6 The wind goes to the south and goes around to the north; around and around it goes, and on its circuit the wind returns. 7 All the streams flow to the sea, but the sea is never full; to the place where the streams flow, there they continue to flow. 8 All things toil continuously; no one can ever finish describing this. The eye is never satisfied with seeing, and the ear is never filled with hearing. 9 What has been--it is what will be; what has been done--it is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. 10 There is a thing [of] which it is said, "Look at this! This is new!" [But] it already existed in ages past before us. 11 There is neither remembrance of former generations, nor will there be remembrance of future generations.
12 I, the Teacher, [was] king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to seek and to search by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. It [is] a grievous task God has given to {humans}. 14 I saw all the works that are done under the sun. Look! Everything [is] vanity and chasing wind.
15 What is twisted cannot be straightened, and what is lacking cannot be counted.
16 {I said to myself}, "Look! I have become great and have increased [in] wisdom more than anyone who {has preceded} me over Jerusalem. {I have acquired a great deal of wisdom and knowledge}." 17 So {I dedicated myself} to learn about wisdom and [to] learn about delusion and folly. However, I discovered that this also [is] chasing wind.
18 For in much wisdom [is] much frustration, and whoever increases knowledge increases sorrow.