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The Blue Letter Bible

Ecclesiastes 1 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:1 - These are the words of the Teacher,[fn] King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem.
Everything Is Meaningless
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:2 - “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:3 - What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:4 - Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:5 - The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:6 - The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:7 - Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:8 - Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:9 - History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:10 - Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:11 - We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.
The Teacher Speaks: The Futility of Wisdom
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:12 - I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:13 - I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:14 - I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:15 - What is wrong cannot be made right.
What is missing cannot be recovered.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:16 - I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.”
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:17 - So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 1:18 - The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief.
To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.
NLT Footnotes
Hebrew Qoheleth; this term is rendered “the Teacher” throughout this book.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the New Living Translation website.

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

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