What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.
I also observed under the sun: there is wickedness at the place of judgment and there is wickedness at the place of righteousness.
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun and have found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind.
I observed all the work of God [and concluded] that man is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though a man labors hard to explore it, he cannot find it; even if the wise man claims to know it, he is unable to discover it.
All this I have seen, applying my mind to all the work that is done under the sun, at a time when one man has authority over another to his harm.
What does a man gain for all his efforts he labors at under the sun?
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.
There is a sickening tragedy I have seen under the sun: wealth kept by its owner to his harm.
Therefore, I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will take over all my work that I labored at skillfully under the sun. This too is futile.
So I began to give myself over to despair concerning all my work I had labored at under the sun.
For what does a man get with all his work and all his efforts that he labors with under the sun?
Again, I observed all the acts of oppression being done under the sun. Look at the tears of those who are oppressed; they have no one to comfort them. Power is with those who oppress them; they have no one to comfort them.
I saw all the living who move about under the sun follow a second youth who succeeds him.
Here is a tragedy I have observed under the sun, and it weighs heavily on humanity:
For who knows what is good for man in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell man what will happen after him under the sun?
Their love, their hate, and their envy have already disappeared, and there is no longer a portion for them in all that is done under the sun.
Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life, which has been given to you under the sun, all your fleeting days. For that is your portion in life and in your struggle under the sun.
I have observed that this also is wisdom under the sun, and it is significant to me:
There is an evil I have seen under the sun, an error proceeding from the presence of the ruler:
So I commended enjoyment, because there is nothing better for man under the sun except to eat, drink, and enjoy himself, for this will accompany him in his labor during the years of his days that God gives him under the sun.
But better than either of them is the one who has not yet existed, who has not seen the evil activity that is done under the sun.
I applied my mind to seek and explore through wisdom all that is done under heaven. God has given people this miserable task to keep them occupied.
I explored with my mind how to let my body enjoy life with wine and how to grasp folly-my mind still guiding me with wisdom-until I could see what is good for people to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.
There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: