OR, THE PREACHER
1 THE words of the Preacher, the son of
David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanites, saith the Preacher,
vainity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labour
which he taketh under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another
generation cometh: but the earth abideth for
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth
down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and
turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about
continually, and the wind returneth again
according to his circuits.
7 All rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is
not full; unto the place from whence the rivers
come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labour; man cannot
utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor
the ear filled with hearing.
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which
shall be; and that which is done is that which
shall be done: and there is no new thing under
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said,
See this is new? it hath been already of old
time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things;
neither shall there be any remembrance of
things that are to come with those that shall
12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in
13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out
by wisdom concerning all things that are done
under heaven: this sore travail hath God given
to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
14 I have seen all the works that are done
under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and
vexation of spirit.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made
straight: and that which is wanting cannot be
16 I communed with mine own heart, saying,
Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten
more wisdom than all they that have been
before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had
great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
17 And I gave my heard to know wisdom, and
to know madness and folly: I perceived that
this also is vexation of spirit.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he
that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
2 I SAID in mine heart, Go to now, I will
prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy
pleasure: and behold, this also is vanity.
2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth,
What doeth it?
3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto
wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom;
and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what
was that good for the sons of men, which they
should do under the heaven all the days of
4 I made me great works; I builded me
houses; I planted me vineyards:
5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I
planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
6 I made me pools of water, to water there-
with the wood that bringeth forth trees:
7 I got me servants and maidens, and had
servants born in my house; also I had great
possessions of great and small cattle above all
that were in Jerusalem before me:
8 I gathered me 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, as musical
instruments, and that of all sorts.
9 So I was great, and increased more than all
that were before me in Jerusalem: also my
wisdom remained with me.
10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept
not from them, I withheld not my heart from
any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour:
and this was my portion of all my labour.
11 Then I looked on all the works that my
hands had wrought, and on the labour that I
had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity
and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit
under the sun.
12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and
madness, and folly; for what can the man do
that cometh after the king? even that which
hath been already done.
13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleht folly, as
far as light excelleth darkness.
14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the
fool walketh in darkness: and I myself per-
ceived also that one event happeneth to them
15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to
the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why
was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart,
that this also is vainty.
16 For there is no remembrance of the wise
more than of the fool for ever; seeing that
which now is in the days to come shall all be
forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the
17 Therefore I hated life; because the work
that is wroguth under the sun is grievous unto
me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
18 Yea, I hated all my labour which i had
taken under the sun: beacuse i should leave it
unto the man that shall be after me.
19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a
wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over
all my labour wherein I have shewed myself wise under the
sun. This is also vanity.
20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart
to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
21 For there is a man whose labour is in
wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet
to a man that hath not laboured therein shall
he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity
and a great evil.
22 For what hath a man of all his labour, and of
the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath
laboured under the sun?
23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail
grief; yea, his heart taketh not 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 labour. THis
also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.
25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten
hereunto, more than I?
26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his
sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to
the sinner he giveth travial, to gather and to
heap up, that he may give to him that is good
before God. This also is vanity and vexation of
3 TO every thing there is a season, and a
time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time
to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is
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 cast away stones, and a time to
gather stones together; a time to embarace, 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 cast away;
7 A time to rend, 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 hath he that worketh in that
wherein he laboureth?
10 I have seen the travial, which God hath
given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11 He hath made ever thing beautiful in his
time: also he hath set the world in their heart,
so that no man can find out the work that God
maketh 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 labour, it is
the gift of God.
14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall
be for ever: nothign can be put to it, nor any
thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men
should fear before him.
15 That which hath been is now; and that
which is to be hath already been; and God
requireth that which is past.
16 And moreover I saw under the sun the
place of judgement, that wickednes was there;
and the place of righteousness, that iniquity
17 I said in mine 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 mine heart concerning the estate
of the sons of men, that God might manifest
them, and that they might see that they
themselves are beasts.
19 For that which befalleth the sons of men
befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth
them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea
they have all one breath; so that a man hath no
pre-eminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust,
and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knoweth the spirt of man that goeth
upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth
downward to the earth?
22 Wherefore I perceived 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?
4 SO I returned, and considered all the
oppressions that are done under the sun:
and behold the tears of such as were op-
pressed, and they had no comforter; and on the
side of their oppressors there was power; but
they had no comforter.
2 Wherefore I praised the dead which are
already dead more than the living which are
3 Yea, better is he than both they, which
hath not yet been, who hat not 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 of his
neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of
5 The fool foldeth his hands together, and
eateth his own flesh.
6 Better is an handful with quietness, than
both the hands full withtravail and vexation of
7 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the
8 There is one alone, and there is not a
second; yea, he hath neither child nor borther:
yet is there no end of all his laobour, neither is
his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he,
For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of
good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore
9 There are better than one; because they have
a good reward for their labour.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his
fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he
falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have
heat: but how can one be warm alone?
12 And if one prevail against him, two shoall
withstand him; and a threefold cord is not
13 Better is a poor and wise child than an old
and foolish king, who will no more be admon-
14 For out of prison he cometh to reign;
whereas also he that is born in his kingdom
15 I considered all the living which walk under
the sun, with the second child that shall stand
up in his stead.
16 There is no end of all the people, even of all
that have been before them: they also that
come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this
also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
5 KEEP thy foot when thou goest to the
house of God, and be more ready to hear,
than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they
consider not that they do evil.
2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not
thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before
earth: therefor let thy words be few.
3 For a dream cometh through the multitude
of business; and a fool's voice is known by
multitude of words.
4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer
not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools:
pay that which thou hast vowed.
5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow,
than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh
to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it
was an error: wherefore should God be antry
at they voice, and destroy the work of thine
7 For in the multitude of dreams and many
words there are also divers vanities; but fear
8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and
violent perverting of judgement and justince in a
province, marvel not at the matter: for he that
is higher than the highest regardeth; and there
be higher than they.
9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all:
the king himself is served by the field.
10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied
with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with
increase: this is also vanity.
11 When goods increase, they are increased
that eat them: and what good is there to the
owners thereof, saving the beholding of them
with their eyes?
12 The sleep of the labouring man is sweet,
whether he eat little or much: but the abun-
dance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under
the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners
thereof to their hurt.
14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and
he bgetteth a son, and there is nothing in his
15 As he came forth of this mother's womb,
naked shall he return to go as he came, and
shall take nothing of his labour, which he may
carry away in his hand.
16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points
as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that laboured for the wind?
17 All his days he eateht in darkness, and
he hath much sorrow and wrath with his
18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good
and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to
enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh
under the sun all the days of his life, which
God giveth him: for it is his portion.
19 Every man also to whom God hath given
riches and wealth, and hath given him power
to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to
rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.
20 For he shall not much remember the days
of his life; because God answereth him in the
joy of his heart.
6 THERE is an evil which I have seen under
the sun, and it is common among men:
2 A man to whom God hath given riches,
wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth noth-
ing for his sould of all that he desireth, yet God
giveth him not power to eath thereof, but a
stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is and
3 If a man beget an hundred children, and
live many years, so that the days of his years
be many, and his sould be not filled with good,
and also that he have no burial; I say, that an
untimely birth is is better than he.
4 For he cometh in with vanity, and depart-
eth in darkness, and his name shall be covered
5 Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor
known any thing: this hath more rest than the
6 Yea, though he live a thousand years twice
told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to
7 All labour of man is for his mouth, and
yet the appetite is not filled.
8 For what hath the wise more than the fool?
What hath the poor that knoweth 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 spirt.
10 That which hath been is named already,
and it is known that is is man: neither may he
contend with him that is mighter than he.
11 Seeing there be many things that increase
vanity, what is man the better?
12 For who knoweth what is good for man in
this life, all the days of this vain life which he
spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man
what shall be after him under the sun?
Back to the Cloisters Page