1The words of Qoheleth,#This Hebrew word means Assembler or Convener, an appellative. The author could have been Shelomoh, or else some post-exilic writer. son of Dawiḏ, sovereign in Yerushalayim.
2“Futility! Futility!” says Qoheleth. “Futility, futility, all is futile!”
3What does man gain from all his labour in which he toils under the sun?
4A generation passes away, and a generation comes, but the earth stands forever.
5The sun also rises, and the sun sets, and hurries back to the place where it arose.
6Going to the south, and turning round to the north, turning, turning, and on its rounds the wind returns.
7All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea never overflows. To the place from which the rivers come, there they return again.
8All matters are wearisome, no one is able to speak of it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9What has been is what shall be, what has been done is what shall be done, and there is no new matter under the sun.
10Is there a matter of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It was here already, long ago.
11There is no remembrance of former ones, nor is there any remembrance of those that are to come by those who come later on.
12I, Qoheleth, was sovereign over Yisra’ĕl in Yerushalayim.
13And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that has been done under the heavens; this evil task Elohim has given to the sons of man, to be humbled by it.
14I have seen all the works that are done under the sun. And see, all was futile and feeding on wind.
15The crooked could not be straightened, and what is lacking could not be counted.
16So I spoke to my heart, saying, “See, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Yerushalayim. And my heart has seen much wisdom and knowledge.”
17And I set my heart to know wisdom – and to know madness and folly. I know that this too is feeding on wind.
18For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases suffering.