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Ecclesiastes 3 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

For everything there is a season,
a right time for every intention under heaven —
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to discard,
a time to tear and a time to sew,
a time to keep silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

What does the worker gain from his efforts? 10 I have seen the task God has given humanity to keep us occupied. 11 He has made everything suited to its time; also, he has given human beings an awareness of eternity; but in such a way that they can’t fully comprehend, from beginning to end, the things God does. 12 I know that there is nothing better for them to do than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live. 13 Still, the fact that everyone can eat and drink and enjoy the good that results from all his work, is a gift of God. 14 I know that

whatever God does will last forever;
there is nothing to add or subtract from it;
and God has done it so that people will fear him.

15 That which was is here already;
and that which will be has already been,
but God seeks out what people chase after.

16 Another thing I observed under the sun:

There, in the same place as justice, was wickedness;
there, in the same place as righteousness, was wickedness.

17 I said to myself, “The righteous and the wicked God will judge, because there is a right time for every intention and for every action.”

18 Concerning people, I said to myself, “God is testing them, so that they will see that by themselves they are just animals. 19 After all, the same things that happen to people happen to animals, the very same thing — just as the one dies, so does the other. Yes, their breath is the same; so that humans are no better than animals; since nothing matters, anyway. 20 They all go to the same place; they all come from dust, and they all return to dust. 21 Who knows if the spirit of a human being goes upward and the spirit of an animal goes downward into the earth?” 22 So I concluded that there is nothing better for a person to do than take joy in his activities, that that is his allotted portion; for who can enable him to see what will happen after him?

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Ecclesiastes 3 New International Version (NIV)

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.[b]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[c]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 3:11 Or also placed ignorance in the human heart, so that
  2. Ecclesiastes 3:15 Or God calls back the past
  3. Ecclesiastes 3:19 Or spirit
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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