Everything Is Meaningless
1These are the words of the Teacher. He was the son of David. He was also the king in Jerusalem.
2“Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Everything is completely meaningless!
Nothing has any meaning.”
3What do people get for all their work?
Why do they work so hard on this earth?
4People come and people go.
But the earth remains forever.
5The sun rises. Then it sets.
And then it hurries back to where it rises.
6The wind blows to the south.
Then it turns to the north.
Around and around it goes.
It always returns to where it started.
7Every stream flows into the ocean.
But the ocean never gets full.
The streams return
to the place they came from.
8All things are tiresome.
They are more tiresome than anyone can say.
But our eyes never see enough of anything.
Our ears never hear enough.
9Everything that has ever been will come back again.
Everything that has ever been done will be done again.
Nothing is new on earth.
10There isn’t anything about which someone can say,
“Look! Here’s something new.”
It was already here long ago.
It was here before we were.
11No one remembers the people of long ago.
Even those who haven’t been born yet
won’t be remembered
by those who will be born after them.
Wisdom Is Meaningless
12I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13I decided to study things carefully. I used my wisdom to check everything out. I looked into everything that is done on earth. What a heavy load God has put on human beings! 14I’ve seen what is done on this earth. All of it is meaningless. It’s like chasing the wind.
15People can’t straighten things that are crooked.
They can’t count things that don’t even exist.
16I said to myself, “Look, I’ve now grown wiser than anyone who ruled over Jerusalem in the past. I have a lot of wisdom and knowledge.” 17Then I used my mind to understand what it really means to be wise. And I wanted to know what foolish pleasure is all about. But I found out that it’s also like chasing the wind.
18A lot of human wisdom leads to a lot of sorrow.
More knowledge only brings more sadness.
12我传道者曾在耶路撒冷做以色列的王。 13我专心用智慧去研究、探索天下各样的事，发现上帝给世人的是极重的苦工。 14我观察一切日光之下所做的事，看啊，都是虚空，好像捕风。 15弯曲的不能变直，缺少的无法补足1:15 “补足”希伯来文是“数算”。。 16我心里想：“我获得极大的智慧，远超过以前统治耶路撒冷的人。我拥有丰富的智慧和知识。” 17我又专心察明智慧和知识、狂妄和愚昧，却发现这也是捕风。 18因为智慧越高，愁烦越多；知识越多，痛苦越深。