Ecclesiastes 1

All Is Vanity

1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, a king in Jerusalem.

2 "Vanity b 1 1 of vanities," says the Preacher;
"Vanity 3 of vanities, c all is vanity."
3 d What profit has a man from all his labor
In which he 4 toils under the sun?
4 One generation passes away, and another generation comes;
e But the earth abides forever.
5 f The sun also rises, and the sun goes down,
And 5 hastens to the place where it arose.
6 g The wind goes toward the south,
And turns around to the north;
The wind whirls about continually,
And comes again on its circuit.
7 h All the rivers run into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full;
To the place from which the rivers come,
There they return again.
8 All things are 6 full of labor;
Man cannot express it.
i The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 j That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which it may be said,
"See, this is new"?
It has already been in ancient times before us.
11 There is k no remembrance of former things,
Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come
By those who will come after.

The Vanity of Wisdom

12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I set my heart to seek and l search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; m this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be 7 exercised. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

15 n What is crooked cannot be made straight,
And what is lacking cannot be numbered.

16 I communed with my heart, saying, "Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained o more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has 8 understood great wisdom and knowledge." 17 p And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.

18 For q in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

  1. Cross References
    Proverbs 1:1
    The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
  2. Cross References
    Psalms 39:5
    Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
    Psalms 39:6
    Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.
    Psalms 62:9
    Surely men of low degree are a vapor, Men of high degree are a lie; If they are weighed on the scales, They are altogether lighter than vapor.
    Psalms 144:4
    Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow.
    Ecclesiastes 12:8
    "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "All is vanity."
  3. Cross References
    Romans 8:20
    For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope.
    Romans 8:21
    Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
  4. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:22
    For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?
    Ecclesiastes 3:9
    What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
  5. Cross References
    Psalms 104:5
    You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever.
    Psalms 119:90
    Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides.
  6. Cross References
    Psalms 19:4 - 6
    Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun.
  7. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 11:5
    As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
    John 3:8
    "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
  8. Cross References
    Psalms 104:8
    They went up over the mountains; They went down into the valleys, To the place which You founded for them.
    Psalms 104:9
    You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, That they may not return to cover the earth.
    Jeremiah 5:22
    Do you not fear Me?' says the LORD. 'Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, Yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
  9. Cross References
    Proverbs 27:20
    Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.
    Ecclesiastes 4:8
    There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, "For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?" This also is vanity and a grave misfortune.
  10. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 3:15
    That which is has already been, And what is to be has already been; And God requires an account of what is past.
  11. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:16
    For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!
  12. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 7:25
    I applied my heart to know, To search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things, To know the wickedness of folly, Even of foolishness and madness.
    Ecclesiastes 8:16
    When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night.
    Ecclesiastes 8:17
    Then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.
  13. Cross References
    Genesis 3:19
    In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.
    Ecclesiastes 3:10
    I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied.
  14. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 7:13
    Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked?
  15. Cross References
    1 Kings 3:12
    Behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
    1 Kings 3:13
    And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.
    Ecclesiastes 2:9
    So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.
  16. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:3
    I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.
    Ecclesiastes 2:12
    Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; For what can the man do who succeeds the king? - Only what he has already done.
    Ecclesiastes 7:23
    All this I have proved by wisdom. I said, "I will be wise"; But it was far from me.
    Ecclesiastes 7:25
    I applied my heart to know, To search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things, To know the wickedness of folly, Even of foolishness and madness.
    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.
  17. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 12:12
    And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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