For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain has the worker from his toil?
I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with.
He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live;
also that it is God's gift to man that every one should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil.
I know that whatever God does endures for ever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has made it so, in order that men should fear before him.
That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
Moreover I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness.
I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time for every matter, and for every work.
I said in my heart with regard to the sons of men that God is testing them to show them that they are but beasts.
For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity.
All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?
So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should enjoy his work, for that is his lot; who can bring him to see what will be after him?
Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.
And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive;
but better than both is he who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
The fool folds his hands, and eats his own flesh.
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
Again, I saw vanity under the sun:
a person who has no one, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, "For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.
Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone?
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king, who will no longer take advice,
even though he had gone from prison to the throne or in his own kingdom had been born poor.
I saw all the living who move about under the sun, as well as that youth, who was to stand in his place;
there was no end of all the people; he was over all of them. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.