Amplified Bible

Ecclesiastes 1

The Futility of All Endeavors

1The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.


“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher.
“Vanity of vanities! All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity [futile, meaningless—a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes, merely chasing the wind].”


What advantage does man have from all his work
Which he does [a]under the sun (while earthbound)?

One generation goes and another generation comes,
But the earth remains forever.

Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
And hurries to the place where it rises again.

The wind blows toward the south,
Then circles toward the north;
The wind circles and swirls endlessly,
And on its circular course the wind returns.

All the rivers flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers flow,
There they flow again.

All things are wearisome and all words are frail;
Man cannot express it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.

That which has been is that which will be [again],
And that which has been done is that which will be done again.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
10 
Is there anything of which it can be said,
“See this, it is new”?
It has already existed for [the vast] ages [of time recorded or unrecorded]
Which were before us.
11 
There is no remembrance of earlier things,
Nor also of the later things that are to come;
There will be for them no remembrance
By generations who will come after them.

The Futility of Wisdom

12 I, the Preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I set my mind to seek and explore by [man’s] [b]wisdom all [human activity] that has been done under heaven. It is a miserable business and a burdensome task which [c]God has given the sons of men with which to be busy and distressed. 14 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity, a futile grasping and chasing after the wind. 15 What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is defective and lacking cannot be counted.

16 I spoke with my heart, saying, “Behold, I have acquired great [human] wisdom and experience, more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of [moral] wisdom and [scientific] knowledge.” 17 And I set my mind to know [practical] wisdom and to discern [the character of] madness and folly [in which men seem to find satisfaction]; I realized that this too is a futile grasping and chasing after the wind. 18 For in much [human] wisdom there is much displeasure and exasperation; increasing knowledge increases sorrow.

Notas al pie

  1. Ecclesiastes 1:3 Ecclesiastes expresses the view of the natural man whose interests are focused on vanishing pleasures and empty satisfactions. The natural man is not aware that all the answers to life are found in God. The natural man grovels in the earth and seeks and finds that which is futile and temporary while the spiritual man soars on wings of eagles (Is 40:31) and seeks and finds righteousness and God’s incomparable and everlasting blessings and companionship.
  2. Ecclesiastes 1:13 The “wisdom” of Proverbs is not the “wisdom” of Ecclesiastes. The former is godly wisdom; the latter is usually human wisdom.
  3. Ecclesiastes 1:13 Heb Elohim: mighty, creator, ruler of man and nature.

Bibelen på hverdagsdansk

Prædikeren 1

Livet synes uden mening

1Denne bog er af Prædikeren, som var søn af David og konge i Jerusalem.

Der er ingen mening, livet er uden mening.
    Det hele er meningsløst.

Hvad får man ud af al sin møje?
    Alt det, man her i livet må døje?
Generationer kommer og går,
    men verden kører videre og består.
Solen står op, og solen går ned
    dag efter dag i uendelighed.
Vinden blæser mod syd og skifter om i nord,
    det hele kører rundt, men ændrer ikke spor.
Floder hælder vand i havet uden stop,
    alligevel bliver havet aldrig fyldt op.
Vandet fordamper og kommer tilbage til floden,
    sådan kører det bare rundt på hele kloden.
Alting er så kedsommeligt,
    fordi det er så forudsigeligt.
Det er altid det samme, man ser,
    altid det samme, man hører.
Hvad der før er sket, vil ske igen,
    Hvad der før er gjort, vil blive gjort igen.
        Der er intet nyt under solen.
10 Der er intet nyt, der kommer op i nutiden,
    som ikke også er sket i fortiden.
11 De gamles heltemod huskes ikke mere,
    i fremtiden vil nutiden ikke eksistere.

Menneskelig visdom kommer til kort

12 Jeg, Prædikeren, var konge over Israel og boede i Jerusalem. 13 Jeg besluttede mig for grundigt at udforske alt, hvad der foregår på jorden, og jeg kom til det resultat, at det er et træls og slidsomt liv, Gud har givet menneskene.

14 Jeg så, at alt, hvad folk foretager sig, er omsonst, det er som at bygge luftkasteller. 15 Man kan ikke gøre det falske ægte, og man kan ikke afhjælpe alle mangler.

16 Jeg sagde til mig selv: „Jeg har større viden end nogen anden konge før mig i Jerusalem. Jeg er den klogeste og mest intelligente.” 17 Derfor har jeg tænkt meget over fordelen ved at have visdom og kundskab frem for at være dum og uvidende. Men jeg opdagede, at selv det var formålsløst. 18 Jo mere visdom, des større lidelse, jo mere kundskab, des større smerte.