[This is Ecclesiastes from the Holy Bible, Hoehn Version, copyright 2011. (Amazon.com) It has been revised from the King James Version into modern English by Frederick Hoehn.] ___Ecclesiastes chapter 1 1 The words of the preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. 3 What profit has a man of all his labor that he takes under the sun? 4 One generation passes away, and another generation comes, but the earth remains forever. 5 The sun also arises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to his place where it got up. 6 The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north, it whirls around continually, and the wind returns again according to its circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full, to the place from where the rivers come, there they return again. 8 All things are full of labor, man can't speak it, the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 The thing that has been is that which shall be, and that which has been done is what shall be done, and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there anything about which it can be said, "See, this is new?" It has already been of old time, that was before us. 11 There is no remembrance of previous things, nor shall there be any remembrance of things that will come with those that shall come after them. 12 I the preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven, God has given this severe travail to the sons of man to be exercised by it. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and see, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 15 That which is crooked can't be made straight, and that which is wanting can't be numbered. 16 I communed with my own heart, saying, see, I've come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all of those who've been before me in Jerusalem, yes, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know insanity and foolishness, I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. 18 For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow. |
___Ecclesiastes chapter 2 1 I said in my heart, "Go on now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure," and see, this is also vanity. 2 I said about laughter, "It's crazy, and of humor, what does it do?" 3 I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom, and to take hold of foolishness, 'til I could see what was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life. 4 I made myself great works, I built myself houses, I planted myself vineyards, 5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruits, 6 I made myself pools of water, to use them to water the woods that produce trees, 7 I got myself servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house, also I had great possessions of large and small cattle more than all that were in Jerusalem before me, 8 I gathered myself also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces, I got me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, like all sorts of musical instruments. 9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem, also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I didn't keep from them, I didn't withhold any joy from my heart, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my portion of all my labor. 11 Then I looked at all the works that my hands had made, and on the labor that I had labored to do, and see, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. 12 And I turned myself to see wisdom, and insanity, and foolishness, for what can the man do that comes after the king? That which has already been done. 13 Then I saw that wisdom excels foolishness, as far as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness, and I myself perceived also that one event happens to them all. 15 Then said I in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me, and why am I then wiser?" Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. 16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool forever, seeing that which is now, in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how does the wise man die? Like the fool. 17 Therefore I hated life, because the work that is made under the sun is grievous to me, for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 18 Yes, I hated all my labor that I had done under the sun, because I would leave it to the man that shall be after me. 19 And who knows whether he'll be a wise man or a fool? Yet he'll have rule over all my labor in which I've labored, and in which I've shown myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. 20 Therefore I went to cause my heart to despair of all the labor that I did under the sun. 21 For there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity, yet to a man that has not labored in it, he'll leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 For what does man have of all his labor, and of the vexation of his heart, in which he has labored under the sun? 23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief, yes, his heart doesn't rest in the night. This is also vanity. 24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten until now, more than I? 26 For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, so that he can give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
___Ecclesiastes chapter 3 1 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven, 2 A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what has been planted, 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up, 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance, 5 A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 A time to get, and a time to lose, a time to keep, and a time to throw away, 7 A time to tear, and a time to sew, a time to keep silence, and a time to speak, 8 A time to love, and a time to hate, a time of war, and a time of peace. 9 What profit does the worker have in that in which he labors? 10 I've seen the travail, that God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time, also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end. 12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. 14 I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever, nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it, and God does it, so that men should fear before him. 15 That which has been is now, and that which is to be has already been, and God requires that which is past. 16 And also I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there, and the place of righteousness, that sin was there. 17 I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18 I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are animals. 19 For that which happens to the sons of men happens to animals, one thing happens to them, like the one dies, so does the other, yes, they all have one breath, so that a man has no preeminence above an animal, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place, all are of the dust, and all return to dust again. 21 Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the animal that goes downward to the earth? 22 So I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his portion, for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
___Ecclesiastes chapter 4 1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun, and look at the tears of those who were oppressed, and they had no comforter, and on the side of their oppressors there was power, but they had no comforter. 2 So I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still alive. 3 Yes, better is he than both of them, who hasn't yet been, who hasn't seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied by his neighbor. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit. 5 The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh. 6 Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. 7 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. 8 There is one alone, and there is not a second, yes, he has neither child nor brother, yet there's no end of all his labor, nor is his eye satisfied with riches, nor does he say, for whom do I labor, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yes, it is a severe travail. 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falls, for he doesn't have someone to help him up. 11 Also, if two sleep in the same bed, then they have heat, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him, and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 13 Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be reprimanded. 14 For out of prison he comes to rule, whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becomes poor. 15 I considered all the living that walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up instead of him. 16 There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them, they also that come afterward shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
___Ecclesiastes chapter 5 1 Keep your foot when you go to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don't consider that they're doing evil. 2 Don't be rash with your mouth, and don't let your heart be hasty to speak anything before God, for God is in heaven, and you're on earth, therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes through the multitude of business, and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words. 4 When you vow a vow to God, don't fail to pay it, for he has no pleasure in fools, pay what you've vowed. 5 Better is it that you shouldn't vow, than that you should vow and not pay. 6 Don't allow not your mouth to cause your flesh to sin, and don't say before the angel, that it was an error, why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also various vanities, but fear God. 8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, don't be amazed at the matter, for he that is higher than the highest regards, and there are higher than those. 9 Also the profit of the earth is for all, the king himself is served by the field. 10 He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver, nor he that loves abundance with increase, this is also vanity. 11 When goods increase, they are increased who eat them, and what good is there to the owners of them, except the seeing of them with their eyes? 12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the rich won't allow him to sleep. 13 There is a severe evil that I've seen under the sun, specifically, riches kept for the owners of them to their hurt. 14 But those riches perish by evil travail, and he fathers a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 15 As he came out from his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labor, that he can carry away in his hand. 16 And this also is a severe evil, that in all points like he came, so shall he go, and what profit has he that has labored for the wind? 17 All his days also he eats in darkness, and he has much sorrow and anger with his sickness. 18 See that which I have seen, it is good and attractive for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he takes under the sun all the days of his life, that God gives him, for it is his portion. 19 Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat of it, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor, this is the gift of God. 20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life, because God answers him in the joy of his heart.
___Ecclesiastes chapter 6 1 There is an evil that I've seen under the sun, and it is common among men, 2 A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lack nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God doesn't give him the ability to eat of it, but a stranger eats it, this is vanity, and it is an evil disease. 3 If a man fathers a hundred children, and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, and his soul isn't filled with good, and also that he has no burial, I say that an untimely birth is better than him. 4 For he comes in with vanity, and departs in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness. 5 Also he has not seen the sun, nor known anything, this has more rest than the other. 6 Yes, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet has he seen no good, don't all go to one place? 7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled. 8 For what does the wise have more than the fool? What does the poor have, that knows to walk before the living? 9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire, this is also vanity and vexation of spirit. 10 That which has been is named already, and it is known that it is man, nor may he contend with him that is mightier than he is. 11 Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? 12 For who knows what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life that he spends like a shadow? For who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?
___Ecclesiastes chapter 7 1 A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth. 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to his heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the facial expression the heart is made better. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 5 It is better to hear the reprimand of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool, this also is vanity. 7 Surely oppression makes a wise man crazy, and a bribe destroys the heart. 8 The end of a thing is better than the beginning of it, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 9 Don't be not hasty in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools. 10 Don't say, "What is the reason that the former days were better than these?" For you're not inquiring wisely concerning this. 11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and by it there is profit to those who see the sun. 12 For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense, but the excellence of knowledge is, that wisdom gives life to those who have it. 13 Consider the work of God, for who can make straight what he has made crooked? 14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider, God also has set the one opposite the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. 15 I've seen all things in the days of my vanity, there is a just man that perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16 Be not righteous over much, neither make yourself over wise, why should you destroy yourself? 17 Don't be too much wicked, and don't be foolish, why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you should take hold of this, yes, also from this withdraw not your hand, for he that fears God shall come forth from them all. 19 Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten mighty men that are in the city. 20 For there is not a just man on earth, that does good, and doesn't sin. 21 Also don't pay attention to all words that are spoken, so you don't hear your servant curse you, 22 For often also your own heart knows that you yourself likewise have cursed others. 23 I've proven all this by wisdom, I said, "I'll be wise, but it was far from me." 24 That which is far off, and very deep, who can find it out? 25 I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of foolishness, even of foolishness and insanity, 26 And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is traps and nets, and her hands as bands, whoever pleases God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her. 27 See, I've found this, says the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account, 28 Which yet my soul seeks, but I don't find, I've found one man among a thousand, but a woman among all those I haven't found. 29 See, this only I've found, that God has made man upright, but they've sought out many inventions.
___Ecclesiastes chapter 8 1 Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed. 2 I advise you to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God. 3 Don't be hasty to go out of his sight, don't stand in an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him. 4 Where the word of a king is, there is power, and who can say to him, "What are you doing?" 5 Whoever keeps the commandment shall feel no evil thing, and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment. 6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great on him. 7 For he doesn't know that which shall be, for who can tell him when it shall be? 8 There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, nor does he have power on the day of death, and there is no discharge in that war, nor shall wickedness deliver those who are given to it. 9 I've seen all this, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun, there is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt. 10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had done so, this is also vanity. 11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with those who fear God, who fear before him, 13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, nor shall he prolong his days, that are like a shadow, because he doesn't fear before God. 14 There is a vanity that is done on the earth, that there are just men, to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked, again, there are wicked men, to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous, I said that this is also vanity. 15 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry, for that shall abide with him of his labor the days of his life, that God gives him under the sun. 16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on the earth, (for also there is that neither day nor night sees sleep with his eyes,) 17 Then I saw all the work of God, that a man can't find out the work that is done under the sun, because though a man labors to seek it out, yet he won't find it, yes further, though a wise man thinks to know it, yet he won't shall be able to find it.
___Ecclesiastes chapter 9 1 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God, no man knows either love or hatred by all that is before them. 2 All things come alike to all, there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked, to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean, to him that sacrifices, and to him that doesn't sacrifice, as is the good, so is the sinner, and he that swears, as he that fears an oath. 3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all, yes, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and insanity is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they'll die, but the dead don't know anything, nor do they have anymore a reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished, nor do they have anymore a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun. 7 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God now accepts your works. 8 Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no ointment. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you loved all the days of the life of your vanity, that he has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity, for that is your portion in this life, and in your labor that you take under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you're going. 11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man also doesn't know his time, like the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the trap, so are the sons of men trapped in an evil time, when it falls suddenly on them. 13 I've also seen this wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me, 14 There was a little city, and few men inside it, and a great king came against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it, 15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom gave deliverance to the city, yet no man remembered that same poor man. 16 Then I said, wisdom is better than strength, but the poor man's wisdom has been despised, and his words haven't been listened to. 17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that rules among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
___Ecclesiastes chapter 10 1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send out a stinking smell, so does a little foolishness him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart is at his left. 3 Yes also, when he that is a fool walks by the way, his wisdom fails him, and he says to everyone that he's a fool. 4 If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, don't leave your place, for yielding pacifies large offenses. 5 There's an evil that I've seen under the sun, as an error that proceeds from the ruler, 6 Foolishness is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. 7 I've seen servants on horses, and princes walking like servants on the earth. 8 He that digs a pit shall fall into it, and whoever breaks a hedge, a snake shall bite him. 9 Whoever removes stones shall be hurt by it, and he that splits wood shall be endangered by that. 10 If the iron is blunt, and he doesn't sharpen the edge, then he must apply more strength, but wisdom is profitable to direct. 11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment, and a babbler is no better. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool will swallow himself up. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is mischievous insanity. 14 A fool also is full of words, a man can't tell what shall be, and what shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The labor of the foolish wearies everyone of them, because he doesn't know how to go to the city. 16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes eat in the morning! 17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 By much slothfulness the building decays, and through idleness of the hands the house drops through. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry, but money answers all things. 20 Don't curse the king, no not in your thought, and don't curse the rich in your bedroom, for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.
___Ecclesiastes chapter 11 1 Throw your bread on the waters, for you'll find it after many days. 2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight, for you don't know what evil shall be on the earth. 3 If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if the tree falls toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, that's where it shall be. 4 He that observes the wind shall not plant, and he that regards the clouds shall not harvest. 5 As you don't know what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so you don't know the works of God who makes all. 6 In the morning plant your seed, and in the evening don't withhold your hand, for you don't know what shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they'll both turn out well. 7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to see the sun, 8 But if a man lives many years, and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they'll be many. All that comes is vanity. 9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity.
___Ecclesiastes chapter 12 1 Remember now your creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days haven't come, nor the years draw near, when you'll say, "I have no pleasure in them," 2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, aren't darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain, 3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders stop because they are few, and those who look out of the windows are darkened, 4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low, 5 Also when they'll be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail, because man goes to his long home, and the mourners go around the streets, 6 Or ever the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7 Then the dust shall return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, all is vanity. 9 And also, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge, yes, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. 10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, that are given from one shepherd. 12 And further, by these, my son, be instructed, of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it's good, or whether it's evil.
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