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 is the profit to a man in all his labor which he labors under the sun? 4 A generation passes away, and a generation comes; but the earth remains forever. 5 The sun also arises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it arose. 6 The wind goes toward the south, and it turns around to the north; it whirls around continually; and the wind returns on 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 return again. 8 All things are full of labor; 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 nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? It has already been in days of old, which were before us. 11 There is no memory of former things, and also no memory of after things which shall be; for neither shall be a remembrance of them with those who will be at the afterwards.
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 which is done under the heavens. It is a sad task God has given to the sons of men to be humbled by it. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
16 I spoke within my own heart, saying, Lo, I have become great and have gathered more wisdom than all that have been before me in Jerusalem; yea, my heart has seen much of wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I know that this also is vexation of spirit.