Ecclesiastes 1, 2
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king of Israel in Jerusalem.
The Vanity of Life
2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!”
3 What advantage does a man have in all his labor
In which he toils under the sun?
4 A generation comes and a generation goes,
But the earth stands forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets
And returns to its place.
6 The wind rises and goes toward the south
And swirls towards the north.
The wind whirls in a circular motion
And returns full circle.
7 All the rivers flow to the sea,
Yet the sea shall not be filled.
To the place where the rivers flow,
There they return again.
8 All words are wearisome,
And a man will not be able to say them.
Neither will the eye be satisfied with seeing,
Nor will the ear be filled with hearing.
9 What has been is what will be,
And what has been done is what will be done.
There is nothing new under the sun.
10 Who will speak and say,
“See, this is new”?
For it has already been in the ages
That have passed before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things,
And indeed, there shall be no remembrance of later things
By the things that will come after that.
Futility of Man’s Wisdom
12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I gave my heart to seek out and to prepare myself in wisdom concerning all the things done under heaven; for God has given painful distraction to the sons of men to be occupied therewith. 14 I beheld all the works done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and is the choice of one’s spirit.
15 That which has become crooked cannot be made straight,
And what is lacking cannot be counted.
16 I spoke in my heart, saying, “Behold, I have become great, and have acquired wisdom beyond all before me in Jerusalem; and my heart has experienced much wisdom and knowledge.” 17 I gave my heart to know wisdom and knowledge, to learn proverbs and understanding. And this, too, was waywardness of spirit.
18 For in the abundance of wisdom
There is abundance of knowledge,
And he who increases knowledge will increase suffering.
The Vanity of Merriment
1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with merriment and see if this is good; and behold, this, too, is vanity.” 2 I said concerning laughter, “This is madness,” and concerning merriment, “What does this accomplish?” 3 I searched in my heart that I might excite my flesh as with wine. And my heart guided me with wisdom to grasp what is foolishness, until I might see what is good for the sons of men, that which they should do under the sun all the days of their life. 4 I made my works great; I built myself houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made myself gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made pools of water for myself from which to water growing trees. 7 I acquired male and female servants, and servants were born in my house; and I had abundant possessions of herds and flocks, more than all before me in Jerusalem.
8 I also gathered silver and gold for myself and the abundant treasures of kings and countries. I provided male and female singers for myself, the delights of the sons of men, and male and female cupbearers. 9 So I became great and advanced beyond all before me in Jerusalem; my wisdom established me.
10 Whatever my eyes desired,
I did not keep from them.
I did not withhold my heart from any merriment.
For my heart was made glad in all my labor,
And this was my portion from all my labor.
11 Then I looked on all the works my hands had done
And on the labor in which I had toiled,
And indeed all is vanity
And is the choice of one’s spirit.
There was no profit under the sun.
Wisdom Excels Foolishness
12 Then I turned myself to consider
Wisdom, madness, and foolishness,
For who is the man who will follow after counsel,
Whatever it is, to do it?
13 Then I saw that wisdom excels foolishness
As light excels darkness.
14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head,
But the senseless man walks in darkness;
And I indeed know
That one event happens to all of them.
15 So I said in my heart,
“As it happens to the senseless man,
So it also happens to me.
Why then have I gained abundant wisdom?”
Then I said in my heart,
“This indeed is also vanity,
Because the senseless man speaks of his abundance.”
16 For there is no remembrance forever
Of the wise man or of the senseless man,
Since now as in the days to come,
All things are forgotten.
And how will the wise man
As well as the senseless man face death?
17 Thus I have hated life, because the work done under the sun was evil before me; for all is vanity and is the choice of one’s spirit.
18 Then I hated all my labor in which I toiled under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who comes after me. 19 For who knows whether he shall be a wise man or a senseless man? Yet he will have authority over all my labor in which I toiled and wherein I grew wise under the sun. Indeed, this also is vanity. 20 So I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor wherein I toiled under the sun. 21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and courage, yet this man shall give his portion to one who has not labored therein. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 For what does a man have for all his labor and his purpose of heart wherein he labors under the sun? 23 For all his days are sorrowful, and the distraction of life is his, for even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
24 There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw was from the hand of God. 25 For who will eat or who will drink without Him? 26 And He gives wisdom, knowledge, and gladness to a man who is good in His sight. But to him who commits sin He gives the job of gathering and collecting, that he may give to the man who is good in God’s sight. This is also vanity and is the choice of one’s spirit.
1 For the End; a psalm for the sons of Korah.
2 Oh, clap your hands, all you nations;
Shout to God with the voice of rejoicing;
3 For the Lord Most High is fearsome,
A great King over all the earth.
4 He subdued the peoples under us
And the nations under our feet.
5 He chose us for His inheritance,
Jacob’s beauty, which He loved.
6 God ascended with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of the trumpet.
7 Sing praises to God; sing praises;
Sing praises to our King; sing praises;
8 For God is King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.
9 God reigns over the nations;
God sits on His holy throne.
10 The rulers of the people gather together
With the God of Abraham,
For God’s mighty ones of the earth are greatly exalted.
16 A woman in need of a morsel is without discernment and overbold;
She has no sense of shame.
17 She sits upon the doors of her own house,
Upon a seat openly in the streets,
18 Calling to those who pass by
And who go straight along their paths,
19 “He who is very lacking in discernment, let him turn aside to me;
And he who is in need of discernment, I exhort, saying,
20 ‘Grasp with pleasure the secret bread
And the sweet water of theft.’ ”
1 Corinthians 3
1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?
Watering, Working, Warning
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Avoid Worldly Wisdom
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”;
20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:
22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours.
23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.