New International Version

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

1There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I 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.

15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.[b]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I 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.”

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

22 So 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?

Footnotes

  1. Ecclesiastes 3:11 Or also placed ignorance in the human heart, so that
  2. Ecclesiastes 3:15 Or God calls back the past
  3. Ecclesiastes 3:19 Or spirit

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

傳道書 3

萬物有時

1天下萬物都有定期,
凡事都有定時。
出生有時,死亡有時;
耕種有時,拔出有時;
殺戮有時,醫治有時;
拆毀有時,建造有時;
哭泣有時,歡笑有時;
哀傷有時,雀躍有時;
拋石有時,堆石有時[a]
擁抱有時,避開有時;
尋找有時,遺失有時;
保存有時,丟棄有時;
撕裂有時,縫合有時;
沉默有時,發言有時;
愛慕有時,憎惡有時;
爭戰有時,和好有時。

那麼,人勞碌做工有什麼益處呢? 10 我察覺上帝給世人重擔,使他們忙碌不休。 11 祂使萬事各按其時變得美好,又把永恆的意識放在人心裡,人卻不能測透上帝從始至終的作為。 12 我認識到,人生在世沒有什麼比歡樂、享受更好。 13 人人都該吃喝、享受自己勞苦的成果,這是上帝的恩賜。 14 我知道,上帝所做的都會存到永遠,誰也不能增減。祂這樣安排是叫人敬畏祂。 15 現在的事並不是新事,未來的事也早已發生過。上帝使過去的事再次出現。

世間的不公

16 我又看到日光之下,即使在公道和正義之地也有邪惡。 17 我心裡想:「不論義人或惡人,上帝必審判,因為萬事萬務都有受審之時。」 18 我又想:「至於世人,上帝試驗他們,是要他們知道自己與獸類無異。 19 因為人和獸的際遇並無分別,兩者都難逃一死,活著都靠一口氣。人並不比獸強,一切都是虛空。 20 兩者都同歸一處,出於塵土,也歸於塵土。 21 誰知道人的氣息[b]會向上升,獸的氣息會降到地下呢?」 22 因此,我覺得沒有什麼比人享受工作之樂更好,因為這是人當得的。人死後,誰能使他看到世間的事呢?

Footnotes

  1. 3·5 拋石有時,堆石有時」意義不明,有猶太拉比說是「同房有時,分房有時」。
  2. 3·21 氣息」或譯「靈」,本節同。