1 The words of Koheleth, the son of David, the king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith Koheleth, vanity of vanities: all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his toil which he toileth under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth endureth for ever.
5 The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and striving to reach his place he riseth again there.
6 Going toward the south, and turning round toward the north, the wind moveth round about continually; and around its circles doth the wind return again.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is never full: unto the place whither the rivers go, thither will they continue to go.
8 All things weary themselves constantly; man can not utter them: the eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 That which hath been, is the same which will be; and that which hath been done, is the same which will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 If there be any thing whereof it is said, See, this is new: It hath already been in olden times which were before us.
11 Only there is no recollection of former generations; and also of the later ones, that are to beof these likewise there will be no recollection with those that will be still later.
12 I Koheleth was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I directed my heart to inquire and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: this is an evil employment which God hath given to the sons of man to busy themselves therewith.
14 I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun: and, behold, all is vanity and a torture of the spirit.
15 What is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is defective cannot be numbered.
16 I spoke with my own heart, saying, Lo, I have truly obtained greater and more wisdom than all those who have been before me over Jerusalem: yea, my heart had seen much wisdom and knowledge.
17 And I directed my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly; but I have perceived that this also is a torture of the spirit.
18 For where there is much wisdom there is much vexation: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth pain.