1
Nothing Makes Sense
1When the son of David was king in Jerusalem, he was known to be very wise,#1.1 known to be very wise: This stands for the Hebrew word often translated “preacher” or “teacher.” The word may refer to someone who was a very wise leader or to someone who had become wise from collecting sayings about wisdom. and he said:
2Nothing makes sense!
Everything is nonsense.
I have seen it all—
nothing makes sense!
3What is there to show
for all of our hard work
here on this earth?
4 # Si 14.18 People come, and people go,
but still the world
never changes.
5The sun comes up,
the sun goes down;
it hurries right back
to where it started from.
6The wind blows south,
the wind blows north;
round and round it blows
over and over again.
7All rivers empty into the sea,
but it never spills over;
one by one the rivers return
to their source.#1.7 return to their source: Or “flow into the sea.”
8All of life is far more boring
than words could ever say.
Our eyes and our ears
are never satisfied
with what we see and hear.
9Everything that happens
has happened before;
nothing is new,
nothing under the sun.
10Someone might say,
“Here is something new!”
But it happened before,
long before we were born.
11No one who lived in the past
is remembered anymore,
and everyone yet to be born
will be forgotten too.
It Is Senseless To Be Wise
12I said these things when I lived in Jerusalem as king of Israel. 13With all my wisdom I tried to understand everything that happens here on earth. And God has made this so hard for us humans to do. 14I have seen it all, and everything is just as senseless as chasing the wind.#1.14 chasing the wind: Or “eating the wind.”
15If something is crooked,
it can't be made straight;
if something isn't there,
it can't be counted.
16 # 1 K 4.29-31Si 47.14-18 I said to myself, “You are by far the wisest person who has ever lived in Jerusalem. You are eager to learn, and you have learned a lot.” 17Then I decided to find out all I could about wisdom and foolishness. Soon I realized that this too was as senseless as chasing the wind.#1.17 chasing the wind: See the note at 1.14.
18The more you know,
the more you hurt;
the more you understand,
the more you suffer.
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