1 The words of Ecclesiastes, the son of David, the king of Jerusalem.
2 Ecclesiastes said: Vanity of vanities! Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity!
3 What more does a man have from all his labor, as he labors under the sun?
4 A generation passes away, and a generation arrives. But the earth stands forever.
5 The sun rises and sets; it returns to its place, and from there, being born again,
6 it circles through the south, and arcs toward the north. The spirit continues on, illuminating everything in its circuit, and turning again in its cycle.
7 All rivers enter into the sea, and the sea does not overflow. To the place from which the rivers go out, they return, so that they may flow again.
8 Such things are difficult; man is not able to explain them with words. The eye is not satisfied by seeing, nor is the ear fulfilled by hearing.
9 What is it that has existed? The same shall exist in the future. What is it that has been done? The same shall continue to be done.
10 There is nothing new under the sun. Neither is anyone able to say: “Behold, this is new!” For it has already been brought forth in the ages that were before us.
11 There is no remembrance of the former things. Indeed, neither shall there be any record of past things in the future, for those who will exist at the very end.
12 I, Ecclesiastes, was king of Israel at Jerusalem.
13 And I was determined in my mind to seek and to investigate wisely, concerning all that is done under the sun. God has given this very difficult task to the sons of men, so that they may be occupied by it.
14 I have seen all that is done under the sun, and behold: all is emptiness and an affliction of the spirit.
15 The perverse are unwilling to be corrected, and the number of the foolish is boundless.
16 I have spoken in my heart, saying: “Behold, I have achieved greatness, and I have surpassed all the wise who were before me in Jerusalem.” And my mind has contemplated many things wisely, and I have learned.
17 And I have dedicated my heart, so that I may know prudence and doctrine, and also error and foolishness. Yet I recognize that, in these things also, there is hardship, and affliction of the spirit.
18 Because of this, with much wisdom there is also much anger. And whoever adds knowledge, also adds hardship.