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The Blue Letter Bible

Ecclesiastes 1 :: New International Version (NIV)

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Everything Is Meaningless

Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:1 - The words of the Teacher,[fn] son of David, king in Jerusalem:
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:2 - “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:3 - What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:4 - Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:5 - The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:6 - The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:7 - All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:8 - All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:9 - What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:10 - Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:11 - No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.

Wisdom Is Meaningless

Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:12 - I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:13 - I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:14 - I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:15 - What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:16 - I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.”
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:17 - Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:18 - For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.
NIV Footnotes
Or the leader of the assembly; also in verses 2 and 12

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.

See detailed copyright information.

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

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