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Exact Match

All floods run into the sea, and yet the sea is not filled: for look, unto what place the waters run, thence they come again.

What is that which hath been? it is that which is, and what is that which hath been done? it is that which is done, and there is not an entirely new thing under the sun.

What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is defective and lacking cannot be counted.

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:

I said to myself, “Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good.” But it turned out to be futile.

I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

I also accumulated silver, gold, and the wealth of kings and their kingdoms. I gathered around me both male and female singers, along with what delights a man all sorts of mistresses.

Whenever I wanted something I had seen, I never refused that desire. Instead, I enjoyed everything I did, and this became the reward in what I had undertaken.

When I considered all that I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.

And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it will happen even to me. And of what use is it then for me to be more wise? Then I said in my heart, This also is vanity (emptiness, vainglory, and futility)!

So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it.

The only worthwhile thing for a human being is to eat, drink, and enjoy life's goodness that he finds in what he accomplishes. This, I observed, is also from the hand of God himself,

He giveth unto man, what it pleaseth him; whether it be wisdom, understanding, or gladness. But unto the sinner he giveth weariness and sorrow, that he may gather and heap together the thing, that afterward shall be given unto him whom it pleaseth God. This is now a vain thing, yea a very disquietness and vexation of mind.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

What is that which hath been? already it is, and that which is to be hath already been, and God requireth that which is pursued.

For what befalleth the children of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other, and they have all one breath; and man hath no pre-eminence above the beast: for all is vanity.

Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

So I again considered all the oppression that continually occurs on earth. This is what I saw: The oppressed were in tears, but no one was comforting them; no one delivers them from the power of their oppressors.

Then I came back, and I saw an example of what is to no purpose under the sun.

For he came out of prison to become king, even though he had been born poor in what would become his kingdom.

As for the people that have been before him, and that come after him, they are innumerable: yet is not their joy the greater through him. This is also a vain thing and a vexation of mind. (v17) When thou comest into the house of God, keep thy foot and draw nigh, that thou mayest hear: that is better than the offerings of fools, for they know not what evil they do

Keep your foot [give your mind to what you are doing] when you go [as Jacob to sacred Bethel] to the house of God. For to draw near to hear and obey is better than to give the sacrifice of fools [carelessly, irreverently] too ignorant to know that they are doing evil.

When you vow a vow or make a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God has no pleasure in fools (those who witlessly mock Him). Pay what you vow.

Never let your mouth cause you to sin and don't proclaim in the presence of the angel, "My promise was a mistake," for why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy what you've undertaken?

When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?

What is more, he eats in darkness all his days, with much sorrow, sickness, and anger.

Behold what I have seen good and comely: it is to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labour wherewith man laboureth under the sun, all the days of his life which God hath given him: for that is his portion.

For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?

Better is the sight of the eyes [the enjoyment of what is available to one] than the cravings of wandering desire. This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility) and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it!

Whatsoever hath been, the name thereof was given long ago; and it is know what man is; neither can he contend with him that is mightier than he.

For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

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

Consider the work of God; for who can make straight what he hath made crooked?

What exists is beyond reach and very deep. Who can discover it?

I turned about [penitent] and my heart was set to know and to search out and to seek [true] wisdom and the reason of things, and to know that wickedness is folly and that foolishness is madness [and what had led me into such wickedness and madness].

What my heart sought, I did not find. Although I found one righteous man among one thousand, I did not find one [upright] woman among all these.

I advise doing what the king says, especially regarding an oath to God.

Whoever observes the [king's] command will experience no harm, and a wise man's mind will know both when and what to do.

And then I saw evil men put to rest, taken even from the holy place; and they went about and were praised in the town because of what they had done. This again is to no purpose.

Even though a sinner does what is wrong a hundred times and still survives, nevertheless I also know that things will go well for those who fear God, who fear in his presence.

There [is] a vanity that happens on earth: sometimes the righteous suffer what the wicked deserve, and sometimes the wicked receive what the righteous deserve. I said, "This also [is] vanity!"

When I dedicated myself to experience wisdom and to observe what is undertaken on earth even going without sleep day and night

I saw all of it as the activity of God. Frankly, a human being cannot understand what happens on earth, because however hard a man works to discover it, he will not find out. Despite what he thinks he knows, he will not be able to figure it out.

So I reflected on all this, attempting to clear it all up. I concluded that the righteous and the wise, as well as their works, are in the hand of God; whether a person will be loved or hated -- no one knows what lies ahead.

Everyone shares the same fate -- the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the ceremonially clean and unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. What happens to the good person, also happens to the sinner; what happens to those who make vows, also happens to those who are afraid to make vows.

What they loved and hated, as well as what they desired, has already perished. They no longer have any share in what is done under the sun.

This is what I also observed about wisdom on earth, and it is a great burden to me:

Even when a fool walks along the road he lacks sense, and shows everyone what a fool he is.

He begins by saying what is foolish and ends by uttering what is wicked delusion.

Do not curse the king, even in your thoughts. Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom. For a bird will fly by and tell what you say, or something with wings may talk about it.

When the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth. And when the tree falleth, whether it be toward the South or North, in what place soever it fall, there it lieth.

Sow your seed in the morning, and do not let your hands rest in the evening, for you do not know what will prosper-- whether this or that, or whether both of them alike will succeed.

they are also afraid of what is high, and terrors are in the way, and the almond is despised, and the grasshopper is a burden, and the caper-berry is without effect; (for man goeth to his age-long home, and the mourners go about the streets;)

Moreover, besides being wise himself, the Teacher taught people what he had learned by listening, making inquiries, and composing many proverbs.

The Teacher sought to find delightful words, and he wrote what is upright--truthful words.

Let the conclusion of all of these thoughts be heard: Fear God and obey his commandments, for this is what it means to be human.