1 To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 A time to give birth
And a time to die;
A time to plant
And a time to pluck what is planted.
3 A time to kill
And a time to heal;
A time to pull down
And a time to build up.
4 A time to weep
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn
And a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace
And a time to refrain from embracing.
6 A time to seek
And a time to lose;
A time to keep
And a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silent
And a time to speak.
8 A time to love
And a time to hate;
A time of war
And a time of peace.
The Gifts of God
9 What profit has the worker from all his labors? 10 I have seen altogether the tasks which God has given to the sons of men to be engaged in. 11 He made everything beautiful in its time, and He indeed put eternity in their hearts in such a way that man may not find out the work God made from the beginning to the end. 12 I know there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and do good in their lives. 13 Indeed, every man should eat and drink and experience the good in all his labor—this is God’s gift to him.
14 I know that whatever things God does,
They shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to or taken away from these things,
For God did them that men would fear before Him.
15 What is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God will require an account of what is past.
God Judges All
16 Moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment.
The ungodly man was there.
I also saw the place of the righteous man.
The ungodly man was not there.
17 I said in my heart,
“God will judge both the righteous man and the ungodly man,
For there is a time for every action and every work.”
18 I said in my heart, “Concerning the speech of the sons of men, God will judge them so as to show them that indeed, they are themselves like animals.” 19 For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals: one thing befalls them; as is the death of the one, so also is the death of the other, and there is one breath to all. So what advantage does a man have over an animal? For all things are vanity. 20 All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to the dust. 21 Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, whether it goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, whether it goes downward to the earth? 22 So I saw that there was no good except that a man should rejoice in his works; for that is his portion. For who shall bring him to see what happens after him?
1 Then I returned and saw all the oppressions done under the sun.
Behold, the weeping of the oppressed!
But they have no comforter.
On the side of the oppressors was power,
But they have no comforter.
2 So I praised those who were already dead
More than the living,
As many as are alive until now.
3 Better than both these is he who has not yet been born,
Who has not seen all the evil work done under the sun.
4 Again I saw all the labor and all the courage of the worker, that this is the zeal of a man because of his companion. This is also vanity and is the choice of one’s spirit.
5 The senseless man folds his hands
And consumes his own flesh.
6 Better is a handful of rest
Than two handfuls of labor,
And it is the choice of one’s spirit.
7 Then I returned and saw vanity under the sun:
8 There is one, and there is not a second one,
And he has neither son nor brother.
And there is no end to all his labor,
Neither is his eye satisfied with wealth.
But he never asks,
“For whom do I labor and deprive myself of goodness?”
This also is vanity and a painful distraction.
The Treasure of Friendship
9 Two are better than one
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For there is not a second one to help him up!
11 If two lie down together, both stay warm,
But how can one stay warm alone?
12 If one is added strength, two will stand before him,
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
An Unlikely King
13 Better is a poor and wise youth
Than an old and senseless king
Who will no longer take advice.
14 For this youth shall come from the house of prisoners to reign,
Even though in his kingdom he was born poor.
15 I saw all the living who walk under the sun,
And they were with the youth
Who will be established in the king’s place.
16 There was no end of all the people
Over whom he was made king;
Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him.
Surely this also is vanity and is the choice of one’s spirit.
Draw Near to God
17 Walk carefully when you go to the house of God. And draw near to hear, rather than to offer the sacrifice of senseless men; for they do not know that they do evil.
1 Do not be hasty with your mouth,
And do not let not your heart be quick
To utter a word before God;
For God is in heaven, and you are on earth;
Therefore, let your words be few.
2 For a dream comes in a multitude of distractions,
And the voice of a senseless man is with a multitude of words.
3 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it,
For His will is not in senseless men.
So pay whatever you vowed.
4 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
5 Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, and do not say in the presence of God, “It was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? 6 For in a multitude of dreams there are vanities and many words, but you should fear God.
1 A psalm of an ode for the sons of Korah; for the second day of the week.
2 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God, in His holy mountain,
3 Well-rooted in joy throughout the earth,
The mountains of Zion, the sides of the north,
The city of the great King;
4 God is known in her palaces
When He helps her.
5 For behold, the kings assembled;
They came together;
6 They saw her; thus they marveled;
They were troubled; they were shaken;
7 Trembling laid hold of them;
There were labor pains, like a woman giving birth.
8 You shall wreck the ships of Tarshish with a violent wind.
9 As we heard, so we saw
In the city of the Lord of hosts,
In the city of our God;
God established her forever.
10 We pondered Your mercy, O God,
In the midst of Your temple.
11 According to Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness.
12 Let Mount Zion be glad;
Let the daughters of Judah greatly rejoice
Because of Your judgments, O Lord.
13 Encircle Zion and embrace her;
Describe her towers in detail;
14 Set your hearts on her power
And observe her palaces,
That you may describe them to another generation.
15 For He is God, our God,
Forever and unto ages of ages;
He will shepherd us unto the ages.
21 But he does not know that the inhabitants of the earth perish beside her,
And he happens upon a snare of Hades.
22 But hurry off, do not continue in that place,
Neither set your eye toward her;
23 For so you shall pass through strange water
And cross beyond a strange river;
24 And keep away from strange water,
And do not drink from a strange fountain;
25 That you may live a long time
And add years of life to yourself.
1 Corinthians 4
1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.
4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
Fools for Christ’s Sake
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you!
9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!
11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.
12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;
13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
Paul’s Paternal Care
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.
15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you.
19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.
20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?