1For everything there is a season,
a right time for every intention under heaven —
2a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to discard,
7a time to tear and a time to sew,
a time to keep silent and a time to speak,
8a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9What does the worker gain from his efforts? 10I have seen the task God has given humanity to keep us occupied. 11He has made everything suited to its time; also, he has given human beings an awareness of eternity; but in such a way that they can’t fully comprehend, from beginning to end, the things God does. 12I know that there is nothing better for them to do than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live. 13Still, the fact that everyone can eat and drink and enjoy the good that results from all his work, is a gift of God. 14I know that
whatever God does will last forever;
there is nothing to add or subtract from it;
and God has done it so that people will fear him.
15That which was is here already;
and that which will be has already been,
but God seeks out what people chase after.
16Another thing I observed under the sun:
There, in the same place as justice, was wickedness;
there, in the same place as righteousness, was wickedness.
17I said to myself, “The righteous and the wicked God will judge, because there is a right time for every intention and for every action.”
18Concerning people, I said to myself, “God is testing them, so that they will see that by themselves they are just animals. 19After all, the same things that happen to people happen to animals, the very same thing — just as the one dies, so does the other. Yes, their breath is the same; so that humans are no better than animals; since nothing matters, anyway. 20They all go to the same place; they all come from dust, and they all return to dust. 21Who knows if the spirit of a human being goes upward and the spirit of an animal goes downward into the earth?” 22So I concluded that there is nothing better for a person to do than take joy in his activities, that that is his allotted portion; for who can enable him to see what will happen after him?