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Ecclesiastes 1 :: New English Translation (NET)

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The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:

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"Futile! Futile!" laments the Teacher, "Absolutely futile! Everything is futile!"

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What benefit do people get from all the effort which they expend on earth?

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A generation comes and a generation goes, but the earth remains the same through the ages.

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The sun rises and the sun sets; it hurries away to a place from which it rises again.

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The wind goes to the south and circles around to the north; round and round the wind goes and on its rounds it returns.

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All the streams flow into the sea, but the sea is not full, and to the place where the streams flow, there they will flow again.

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All this monotony is tiresome; no one can bear to describe it: The eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear ever content with hearing.

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What exists now is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing truly new on earth.

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Is there anything about which someone can say, "Look at this! It is new!"? It was already done long ago, before our time.

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No one remembers the former events, nor will anyone remember the events that are yet to happen; they will not be remembered by the future generations.

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I, the Teacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.

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I decided to carefully and thoroughly examine all that has been accomplished on earth. I concluded: God has given people a burdensome task that keeps them occupied.

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I reflected on everything that is accomplished by man on earth, and I concluded: Everything he has accomplished is futile - like chasing the wind!

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What is bent cannot be straightened, and what is missing cannot be supplied.

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I thought to myself, "I have become much wiser than any of my predecessors who ruled over Jerusalem; I have acquired much wisdom and knowledge."

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So I decided to discern the benefit of wisdom and knowledge over foolish behavior and ideas; however, I concluded that even this endeavor is like trying to chase the wind!

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For with great wisdom comes great frustration; whoever increases his knowledge merely increases his heartache.
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The NET Bible®, New English Translation Copyright © 1996 By Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. NET Bible® is a registered trademark The NET Bible® Logo, Service Mark Copyright © 1997 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the NET Bible website.

 
 
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