1. Composition of Qoheleth son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2. Sheer futility, Qoheleth says. Sheer futility: everything is futile!
3. What profit can we show for all our toil, toiling under the sun?
4. A generation goes, a generation comes, yet the earth stands firm for ever.
5. The sun rises, the sun sets; then to its place it speeds and there it rises.
6. Southward goes the wind, then turns to the north; it turns and turns again; then back to its circling goes the wind.
7. Into the sea go all the rivers, and yet the sea is never filled, and still to their goal the rivers go.
8. All things are wearisome. No one can say that eyes have not had enough of seeing, ears their fill of hearing.
9. What was, will be again, what has been done, will be done again, and there is nothing new under the sun!
10. Take anything which people acclaim as being new: it existed in the centuries preceding us.
11. No memory remains of the past, and so it will be for the centuries to come -- they will not be remembered by their successors.
12. I, Qoheleth, have reigned over Israel in Jerusalem.
13. Wisely I have applied myself to investigation and exploration of everything that happens under heaven. What a wearisome task God has given humanity to keep us busy!
14. I have seen everything that is done under the sun: how futile it all is, mere chasing after the wind!
15. What is twisted cannot be straightened, what is not there cannot be counted.
16. I thought to myself: I have acquired a greater stock of wisdom than anyone before me in Jerusalem. I myself have mastered every kind of wisdom and science.
17. I have applied myself to understanding philosophy and science, stupidity and folly, and I now realise that all this too is chasing after the wind.
18. Much wisdom, much grief; the more knowledge, the more sorrow.