The words of the Preacher, Ibn Dawud, king in Jerusalem:
2“Vanity of vanities,“ says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.“ 3What does man gain from all his labour in which he labours under the sun? 4One generation goes, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever. 5The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and then hurries back to the place where it rises again. 6The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north. It turns around continually as it goes, and the wind returns again to its courses. 7All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again. 8All things are full of weariness beyond words. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10Is there a thing of which it may be said, “Behold, this is new?“ It has been long ago, in the ages which were before us. 11There is no memory of the former; neither shall there be any memory of the latter that are to come, among those that shall come after.
12I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the sky. It is a heavy burden that God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with. 14I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and a chasing after wind. 15That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is lacking cannot be counted. 16I said to myself, “Behold, I have obtained for myself great wisdom above all who were before me in Jerusalem. Yes, my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.“ 17I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also was a chasing after wind. 18For in much wisdom is much grief; and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.