These are the words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:
The airiest of air, says the Teacher, airiest of air; all is empty air.
What is the product of all our labors under the sun? One generation passes away and another generation rises; but the earth abides on and on. The sun also rises and the sun goes down, hastening again to the place where it arose. The wind blows toward the south, then turns to the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns again and again according to its circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers came, there they return. Everything is full of trouble; the tongue cannot express how much trouble. The eye is not satisfied in its seeing; the ear is not filled with hearing.
That which has been, that is what shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there anything of which it can be said, Look, that is new? No—it has been seen before.
There is no remembrance of things past, nor shall there be remembrance of things to come.
I, the Teacher, was king of all Israel, in Jerusalem. And I gave all my heart to the search for wisdom concerning all the things done under heaven. God has given this sad work to the children of humanity. I have seen all the works that have been done under the sun; and, behold: all is air; all is vexation of the spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is lacking cannot be counted.
I spoke with my heart, saying, Look, I have risen to a mighty place, and I have acquired more wisdom than all who have come before me in Jerusalem. Yes, I have great wisdom and knowledge. I dedicated myself to wisdom; I committed myself to learning madness and folly. Yet, I know this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief and those who increase in knowledge also grow in sorrow.