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Ecclesiastes 1 :: Revised Standard Version (RSV)

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

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Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

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What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?

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A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains for ever.

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The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.

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The wind blows to the south, and goes round to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.

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All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.

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All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

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What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.

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Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already, in the ages before us.

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There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to happen among those who come after.

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I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.

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And I applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with.

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I have seen everything that is done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

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What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered.

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I said to myself, "I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge."

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And I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

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For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
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RSV

Downloaded from the Oxford Text Archive and used with permission. The following header is required to be posted:

Source: Transcribed from: The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version containing the Old and New Testaments, translated from the original tongues: being the version set forth A.D. 1611, revised A.D. 1881-1885 and A.D. 1901: compared with the most ancient authorities and revised A.D. 1946-52. — 2nd ed. of New Testament A.D. 1971. There should be enough in the rest of the description to identify the text.

Language: English

Availability: Freely available for non-commercial use provided that this header is included in its entirety with any copy distributed.

 
 
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