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Ecclesiastes



Ecclesiastes or, the Preacher, chapter 3, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 3

New English Translation


   A Time for All Events in Life
   1 For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth:
   2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted;
   3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break 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 away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
   6 A time to search, and a time to give something up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
   7 A time to rip, 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 for war, and a time for peace.
   Man is Ignorant of God's Timing
   9 What benefit can a worker gain from his toil?
   10 I have observed the burden that God has given to people to keep them occupied.
   11 God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time, but he has also placed ignorance in the human heart so that people cannot discover what God has ordained, from the beginning to the end of their lives.
   Enjoy Life in the Present
   12 I have concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they live,
   13 and also that everyone should eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all his toil, for these things are a gift from God.
   God's Sovereignty
   14 I also know that whatever God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken away from it. God has made it this way, so that men will fear him.
   15 Whatever exists now has already been, and whatever will be has already been; for God will seek to do again what has occurred in the past.
   The Problem of Injustice and Oppression
   16 I saw something else on earth:In the place of justice, there was wickedness, and in the place of fairness, there was wickedness.
   17 I thought to myself, "God will judge both the righteous and the wicked; for there is an appropriate time for every activity, and there is a time of judgment for every deed.
   18 I also thought to myself, "It is for the sake of people, so God can clearly show them that they are like animals.
   19 For the fate of humans and the fate of animals are the same: As one dies, so dies the other; both have the same breath. There is no advantage for humans over animals, for both are fleeting.
   20 Both go to the same place, both come from the dust, and to dust both return.
   21 Who really knows if the human spirit ascends upward, and the animal's spirit descends into the earth?
   22 So I perceived there is nothing better than for people to enjoy their work, because that is their reward; for who can show them what the future holds?

King James Version


   1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
   2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
   3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break 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 cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
   6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
   7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
   8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
   9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
   10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
   11 He 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.
   12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
   13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
   14 I 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.
   15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
   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.
   17 I 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.
   18 I 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.
   19 For 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.
   20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
   21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
   22 Wherefore 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?
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