Daily Reading: Ecclesiastes 1-6

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Ecclesiastes 1

1The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
4One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9The 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 the sun.
10Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
12I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13And 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.
14I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
15That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16I 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.
17And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
18For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Ecclesiastes 2

1I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
2I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
3I 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 their life.
4I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:
5I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
6I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
7I 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:
8I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
9So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
10And 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.
11Then 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.
12And 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.
13Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
14The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
15Then 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 vanity.
16For 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 fool.
17Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
18Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
19And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.
20Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
21For 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.
22For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?
23For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
24There 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.
25For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?
26For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 3

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
10I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11He hath made every 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.
12I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
14I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
15That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
16And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
17I 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.
18I 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.
19For 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 preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
22Wherefore I perceive 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?

Ecclesiastes 4

1So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
2Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.
3Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4Again, 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 spirit.
5The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.
6Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.
7Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.
8There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; 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 travail.
9Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
10For 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.
11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.
14For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.
15I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.
16There 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.

Ecclesiastes 5

1Keep 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.
2Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
3For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.
4When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
5Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
6Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
7For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.
8If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.
9Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.
10He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
11When 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?
12The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
13There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.
14But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.
15As he came forth of his 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.
16And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?
17All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.
18Behold 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.
19Every 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.
20For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

Ecclesiastes 6

1There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:
2A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
3If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.
4For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.
5Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.
6Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?
7All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
8For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?
9Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
10That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.
11Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?
12For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?
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