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   Ecclesiastes.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
III
 
 
[1]    FOR 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?
 
Note 1. Or, matter. [back]
Note 2. Or, the world. [back]
Note 3. Or, to get good. [back]
Note 4. Or, That which hath been is now. [back]
Note 5. Heb. driven away. [back]
Note 6. Or, matter. [back]
Note 7. Or, I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, It is that God &c. [back]
Note 8. Or, spirit. [back]
Note 9. Heb. of the sons of men. [back]
Note 10. Or, that goeth. [back]
Note 11. Or, that goeth. [back]
 

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