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Is there a thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been long ago, in the ages which were before us.

I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I have gotten me great wisdom above all that were before me in Jerusalem; yea, my heart hath had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

for thereunto I applied my mind: that I might know what were wisdom and understanding, what were error and foolishness. And I perceived that this also was but a vexation of mind:

So I thought in my heart, to withdraw my flesh from wine, to apply my mind unto wisdom, and to comprehend foolishness until the time that among all the things which are under the Sun, I might see what were best for men to do, so long as they live under heaven.

I made me pools of water, to water therefrom the forest where trees were reared;

I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:

So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.

I also examined on earth: where the halls of justice were supposed to be, there was lawlessness; and where the righteous were supposed to be, there was lawlessness. 17I told myself, "God will judge both the righteous and the wicked, because there is a time set to judge every event and every work."

Said, I, in my heart, as concerning the sons of men, That God was minded to prove them, - and that they might see, that they were beasts, of themselves.

For, as regardeth the destiny of the sons of men and the destiny of beasts, one fate, have they, as dieth the one, so, dieth the other, and, one spirit, have they all, - and, the pre-eminence of man over beast, is nothing, for, all, were vanity:

All go to one place; all were from dust, and all turned back to dust.

So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

So, I, pronounced happy the dead, who were, already, dead, - more than the living, who were living, still;

And good above them two which were not yet, which saw not the evil work which was done under the sun.

There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, "And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?" This too is vanity and it is a grievous task.

I saw all the living that walk under the sun, that they were with the youth, the second, that stood up in his stead.

there is no end to all the people, to all who were before them; also, the latter rejoice not in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

In the multitude of good they were multiplied eating it: and what the success to its possessors but seeing with his eyes?

There is a serious and severe evil which I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt.

When those riches were lost through a bad investment and he had fathered a son, then there was nothing to support him.

Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.

Wisdom shall strengthen to the wise one more than ten having power which were in the city.

And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

Here also is a futility that goes on upon the earth: there are righteous men who fare as though they were wicked, and wicked men who fare as though they were righteous. I say that this also is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!

For, unto all this, I applied my heart, and, my heart, considered all this, that, the righteous and the wise and their servants, were in the hand of God, - neither love nor hatred, could any man know, every one, was before Him.

For, indeed, man could not know his own time, like fishes which were caught in a cruel net, and like little birds which were caught in a trap, - like them, were ensnared the sons of men, by a time of misfortune, when it fell upon them suddenly.

If a principal spirit be given thee to bear rule, be not negligent then in thine office: for so shall great wickedness be put down, as it were with a medicine.

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as it were an error which proceedeth from the ruler:

I see servants ride upon horses, and princes going upon their feet as it were servants.

In the day when the keepers of the house are shaking for fear, and the strong men are bent down, and the women who were crushing the grain are at rest because their number is small, and those looking out of the windows are unable to see;

And the doors were shut in the street, in the lowness of the voice of the grinding, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of the song shall bow down;

The Preacher made search for words which were pleasing, but his writing was in words upright and true.

The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails planted of the masters of the gatherings; they were given from one shepherd.