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Exact Match

What benefit do people get from all the effort which they expend on earth?

What exists now is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing truly new on earth.

What is bent cannot be straightened, and what is missing cannot be supplied.

I thought deeply about the effects of indulging myself with wine (all the while my mind was guiding me with wisdom) and the effects of behaving foolishly, so that I might discover what is profitable for people to do on earth during the few days of their lives.

I also amassed silver and gold for myself, as well as valuable treasures taken from kingdoms and provinces. I acquired male singers and female singers for myself, and what gives a man sensual delight -- a harem of beautiful concubines!

Next, I decided to consider wisdom, as well as foolish behavior and ideas. For what more can the king's successor do than what the king has already done?

So I thought to myself, "The fate of the fool will happen even to me! Then what did I gain by becoming so excessively wise?" So I lamented to myself, "The benefits of wisdom are ultimately meaningless!"

So I loathed life because what happens on earth seems awful to me; for all the benefits of wisdom are futile -- like chasing the wind.

What does a man acquire from all his labor and from the anxiety that accompanies his toil on earth?

What benefit can a worker gain from his toil?

God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time, but he has also placed ignorance in the human heart so that people cannot discover what God has ordained, from the beginning to the end of their lives.

Whatever exists now has already been, and whatever will be has already been; for God will seek to do again what has occurred in the past.

So I perceived there is nothing better than for people to enjoy their work, because that is their reward; for who can show them what the future holds?

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.

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

Be careful what you do when you go to the temple of God; draw near to listen rather than to offer a sacrifice like fools, for they do not realize that they are doing wrong.

When someone's prosperity increases, those who consume it also increase; so what does its owner gain, except that he gets to see it with his eyes?

This is another misfortune: Just as he came, so will he go. What did he gain from toiling for the wind?

I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people: to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work on earth during the few days of their life which God has given them, for this is their reward.

So what advantage does a wise man have over a fool? And what advantage does a pauper gain by knowing how to survive?

It is better to be content with what the eyes can see than for one's heart always to crave more. This continual longing is futile -- like chasing the wind.

Whatever has happened was foreordained, and what happens to a person was also foreknown. It is useless for him to argue with God about his fate because God is more powerful than he is.

For no one knows what is best for a person during his life -- during the few days of his fleeting life -- for they pass away like a shadow. Nor can anyone tell him what the future will hold for him on earth.

Consider the work of God: For who can make straight what he has bent?

What I have continually sought, I have not found; I have found only one upright man among a thousand, but I have not found one upright woman among all of them.

Surely the king's authority is absolute; no one can say to him, "What are you doing?"

Here is another enigma that occurs on earth: Sometimes there are righteous people who get what the wicked deserve, and sometimes there are wicked people who get what the righteous deserve. I said, "This also is an enigma."

then I discerned all that God has done: No one really comprehends what happens on earth. Despite all human efforts to discover it, no one can ever grasp it. Even if a wise person claimed that he understood, he would not really comprehend it.

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, as well as what they hated and envied, perished long ago, and they no longer have a part in anything that happens on earth.

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.

yet a fool keeps on babbling. No one knows what will happen; who can tell him what will happen in the future?

Do not curse a king even in your thoughts, and do not curse the rich while in your bedroom; for a bird might report what you are thinking, or some winged creature might repeat your words.

Divide your merchandise among seven or even eight investments, for you do not know what calamity may happen on earth.