Ecclesiastes 1 Common English Bible (CEB)
1 The words of the Teacher of the Assembly,[a] David’s son, king in Jerusalem:
2 Perfectly pointless,[b] says the Teacher, perfectly pointless.
Some things are inevitable
3 What do people gain from all the hard work
There’s nothing new under the sun. 10 People may say about something: “Look at this! It’s new!” But it was already around for ages before us. 11 There’s no remembrance of things in the past, nor of things to come in the future. Neither will there be any remembrance among those who come along in the future.
The Teacher’s quest
12 I am the Teacher. I was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 I applied my mind to investigate and to explore by wisdom all that happens under heaven. It’s an unhappy obsession that God has given to human beings.
14 When I observed all that happens under the sun, I realized that everything is pointless, a chasing after wind.
15 What’s crooked can’t be straightened;
16 I said to myself, Look here, I have grown much wiser than any who ruled over Jerusalem before me. My mind has absorbed great wisdom and knowledge. 17 But when I set my mind to understand wisdom, and also to understand madness and folly, I realized that this too was just wind chasing.
Ecclesiastes 1 New International Version (NIV)
Everything Is Meaningless
1 The words of the Teacher,[a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:
2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
3 What do people gain from all their labors
Wisdom Is Meaningless
12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
15 What is crooked cannot be straightened;
16 I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;