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Ecclesiastes 3 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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A Time for Everything

Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:1 - For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:2 - a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:3 - a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:4 - a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:5 - a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:6 - a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:7 - a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:8 - a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

The God-Given Task

Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:9 - What gain has the worker from his toil?
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:10 - I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:11 - He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:12 - I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:13 - also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:14 - I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:15 - That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.[fn]

From Dust to Dust

Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:16 - Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:17 - I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:18 - I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:19 - For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:20 - All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:21 - Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 3:22 - So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
ESV Footnotes
Hebrew what has been pursued
The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Books and Bibles, a Publishing Ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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