Ecclesiastes. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
[ 1] F OR everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose 1 under 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 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 cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
[ 6] a time to seek, 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 for war, and a time for peace.
[ 9] What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?
[ 10] I have seen the travail which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith.
[ 11] He hath made everything beautiful in its time: also he hath set eternity 2 in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that God hath done from the beginning even to the end.
[ 12] I know that there is nothing better for them, than to rejoice, and to 3 do good so long as they live.
[ 13] And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy good in all his labor, is the gift of God.
[ 14] I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God hath done it, that men should fear before him.
[ 15] That 4 which is hath been long ago; and that which is to be hath long ago been: and God seeketh again that which is passed 5 away.
[ 16] And moreover I saw under the sun, in the place of justice, that wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, that wickedness was there.
[ 17] I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose 6 and for every work.
[ 18] I 7 said in my heart, It is because of the sons of men, that God may prove them, and that they may see that they themselves are but as 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; 8 and man hath no preeminence above the beasts: 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 spirit of 9 man, whether 10 it goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast, whether 11 it goeth downward to the earth?
[ 22] Wherefore I saw that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him back to see what shall be after him?
Or, Note 1. matter. [ back]
Or, Note 2. the world. [ back]
Or, Note 3. to get good. [ back]
Or, Note 4. That which hath been is now. [ back]
Heb. Note 5. driven away. [ back]
Or, Note 6. matter. [ back]
Or, Note 7. I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, It is that God &c. [ back]
Or, Note 8. spirit. [ back]
Heb. Note 9. of the sons of men. [ back]
Or, Note 10. that goeth. [ back]
Or, Note 11. that goeth. [ back]