'Futility' in the Bible
"Absolute futility," says the Teacher. "Absolute futility. Everything is futile."
I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself." And behold, it too was futility.
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, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.
And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have dominion over all my labor in which I have toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!
For here is a man whose labor is with wisdom and knowledge and skill; yet to a man who has not toiled for it he must leave it all as his portion. This also is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility) and a great evil!
For all his days are but pain and sorrow, and his work is a vexation and grief; his mind takes no rest even at night. This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!
For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even [in the end] one thing befalls them both. As the one dies, so dies the other. Yes, they all have one breath and spirit, so that a man has no preeminence over a beast; for all is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!
Again, I saw futility under the sun:
Here is one alone -- "no one with him; he neither has child nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labor, neither is his eye satisfied with riches, neither does he ask, For whom do I labor and deprive myself of good? This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility); yes, it is a painful effort and an unhappy business.
For many dreams bring futility, also many words. So, fear God.
He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver, nor he who loves abundance with gain. This also is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!
A man to whom God has given riches, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he might desire, yet God does not give him the power or capacity to enjoy them [things which are gifts from God], but a stranger [in whom he has no interest succeeds him and] consumes and enjoys them. This is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility); it is a sore affliction!
For he comes in futility and he goes in darkness, and his name is shrouded in darkness.
What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires This too is futility and a striving after wind.
For when there are many words, they increase futility. What is the advantage for man?
For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility.
I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.
So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility.
There is a futility that is done on the earth: there are righteous people who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked people who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile.
Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun -- "all the days of futility. For that is your portion in this life and in your work at which you toil under the sun.
Yes, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all; yet let him [seriously] remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that comes is vanity (emptiness, falsity, vainglory, and futility)!