King James Version

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;3.2 to be…: Heb. to bear 3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;3.5 to refrain from: Heb. to be far from 6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;3.6 get: or, seek 7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 9What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? 10I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 12I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 13And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. 14I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. 15That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.3.15 that which is past: Heb. that which is driven away

16¶ And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 17I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.3.18 that God…: or, that they might clear God, and see, etc 19For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?3.21 of man: Heb. of the sons of man3.21 goeth upward: Heb. is ascending, etc 22Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

New International Version

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

A Time for Everything

1There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

9What do workers gain from their toil? 10I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet3:11 Or also placed ignorance in the human heart, so that no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15Whatever is has already been,

and what will be has been before;

and God will call the past to account.3:15 Or God calls back the past

16And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,

in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment

both the righteous and the wicked,

for there will be a time for every activity,

a time to judge every deed.”

18I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath3:19 Or spirit; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

22So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?