Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement

A Partnership between the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion,
Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation, & USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture

Ketuvim - Writings


Chapter 1

1 THE WORDS OF the Koheleth, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
3 What profit hath man of all his labour wherein he laboureth under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he ariseth.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it turneth about continually in its circuit, and the wind returneth again to its circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place whither the rivers go, thither they go again.
8 All things toil to weariness; man cannot utter it, the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 That which hath been is that which shall be, and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing whereof it is said: 'See, this is new'? --it hath been already, in the ages which were before us.
11 There is no remembrance of them of former times; neither shall there be any remembrance of them of latter times that are to come, among those that shall come after.
12 I Koheleth have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven; it is a sore task that G-d hath given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16 I spoke with my own heart, saying: 'Lo, I have gotten great wisdom, more also than all that were before me over Jerusalem'; yea, my heart hath had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly--I perceived that this also was a striving after wind.
18 For in much wisdom is much vexation; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
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