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.
Kila Kitu Ni Ubatili Mtupu
11:1 Mhu 7:27; 12:10Maneno ya Mhubiri, mwana wa Daudi, mfalme huko Yerusalemu:
21:2 Za 39:5-6; 62:9; Rum 8:20-21; Mhu 4:4-6; 12:8“Ubatili mtupu! Ubatili mtupu!”
Kila kitu ni ubatili.”
31:3 Mhu 3:9; 5:15-16; 2:11-22Mwanadamu anafaidi nini kutokana na kazi yake yote
anayotaabikia chini ya jua?
41:4 2Pet 3:10; Za 104:5; Ay 8:19Vizazi huja na vizazi hupita,
lakini dunia inadumu milele.
51:5 Za 19:5-6Jua huchomoza na jua huzama,
nalo huharakisha kurudi mawioni.
6Upepo huvuma kuelekea kusini
na kugeukia kaskazini,
hurudia mzunguko huo huo,
daima ukirudia njia yake.
71:7 Ay 36:28; 38:10Mito yote hutiririka baharini,
hata hivyo bahari kamwe haijai.
Mahali mito inapotoka,
huko hurudi tena.
81:8 Mhu 3:1; Mit 27:20Vitu vyote vinachosha,
zaidi kuliko mtu anavyoweza kusema.
Jicho kamwe halitosheki kutazama,
wala sikio halishibi kusikia.
91:9 Mwa 8:22; Mhu 3:15; 2:12Kile kilichokuwepo kitakuwepo tena,
kile kilichofanyika kitafanyika tena,
hakuna kilicho kipya chini ya jua.
10Kuna kitu chochote ambacho mtu anaweza kusema,
“Tazama! Kitu hiki ni kipya”?
Kilikuwepo tangu zamani za kale,
kilikuwepo kabla ya wakati wetu.
111:11 Mhu 8:10; 9:5, 15; 2:16; Za 88:12; Mwa 40:23Hakuna kumbukumbu ya watu wa zamani,
hata na wale ambao hawajaja bado
na wale watakaofuata baadaye.
Hekima Ni Ubatili
12Mimi, Mhubiri, nilikuwa mfalme wa Israeli katika Yerusalemu. 131:13 Mwa 3:17-19; Mhu 3:10; Ay 28:3Nilitumia muda wangu wote kujifunza na kuvumbua kwa hekima yote yanayofanyika chini ya mbingu. Jinsi gani Mungu ameweka mzigo mzito juu ya wanadamu! 141:14 Mhu 2:11; 4:4; 6:9Nimeshaona mambo yote yanayotendeka chini ya jua, hayo yote ni ubatili, hii ni kukimbiza upepo.
151:15 Mhu 7:13Kilichopindika hakiwezi kunyooshwa,
kile ambacho hakipo haiwezekani kukihesabu.
161:16 1Fal 3:12; 4:30; Mhu 2:9Niliwaza mwenyewe, “Tazama, nimekua na kuongezeka katika hekima kuliko yeyote aliyewahi kutawala Yerusalemu kabla yangu. Nimekuwa na uzoefu mkubwa wa hekima na maarifa.” 171:17 1The 5:21; Mhu 7:23, 25; 2:3, 12; 8:16Ndipo nilipojitahidi kufahamu kutofautisha hekima, wazimu na upumbavu, lakini nikatambua hata hili nalo ni kukimbiza upepo.
181:18 Mhu 2:23; 12:12; 7:16; Ay 28:28; Yer 45:3Kwa kuwa hekima nyingi huleta huzuni kubwa;
maarifa yanapoongezeka, masikitiko yanaongezeka.