Fred Miller's Revised King James' Version

ECCLESIASTES


CHAPTERS:  [1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]  [6]  [7]  [8]  [9]  [10]  [11]  [12]

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Ecclesiastes 1

1The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes under the sun?

4One generation passes away and another generation comes: but the earth abides for ever. 5 Also the sun rises and the sun goes down and hurries to the place where it rose. 6The wind goes toward the south and turns about to the north; it whirls about continually and the wind returns again according to its circuits. 7All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; to the place from where the rivers come, there they return again. 8All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

9The thing that has been, is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10Is there any thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? it has been already from old time, which was before us. 11There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance with those that shall come after of things that are to come.

12I, the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail has God given to the sons of man to be exercised with it. 14I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 15That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is lacking cannot be numbered. 16I communed with my own heart, saying, Lo, I have come to great estate and have gotten more wisdom than all those who have been before me in Jerusalem: yes, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 17And I gave my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. 18For in much wisdom is much grief: and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

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Chapter 2

1I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and behold, this also is vanity. 2I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What does it? 3I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. 4I made great works; I built houses; I planted vineyards: 5I made gardens and orchards and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: 6I made pools of water, to water the woods that brings forth trees: 7I got servants and maidens and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all who were in Jerusalem before me: 8I also gathered silver and gold and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I got men singers and women singers and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments and that of all sorts. 9So I was great and increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10And what ever my eyes desired I did not keep from them, I did not withhold my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion of all my labor. 11Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked and on the labor that I had labored to do: and behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit and there was no profit under the sun.

12And I turned myself to behold wisdom and madness and folly: for what can the man do who comes after the king? even that which has been already done. 13Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness. 14The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happens to them all. 15Then I said in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why then was I more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. 16For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how does the wise man die? even as the fool.

17Therefore I hated life; because the work that is worked under the sun is grievous to me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 18Yes, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun: because I would leave it to the man who shall be after me. 19And who knows whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet he shall have rule over all my labor in which I have labored and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. 20Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labor which I took under the sun. 21For there is a man whose labor is in wisdom and in knowledge and in equity; yet he shall leave it to a man who has not labored there for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22For what has man of all his labor and of the vexation of his heart, in which he has labored under the sun? 23For all his days are sorrows and his travail grief; yes, his heart takes no rest in the night. This is also vanity. 24There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. 25For who can eat, or who else can hurry to it, more than I? 26For God gives to a man who is good in his sight wisdom and knowledge and joy: but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give it to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

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Chapter 3

1To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; 4A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; 5A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; 6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; 7A time to tear and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak; 8A time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace. 9What profit has he who works in that in which he labors? 10I have seen the travail, which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11He has made every thing beautiful in its time: also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end. 12I know that there is no other good in them, but for a man to rejoice and to do good in his life. 13And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. 14I know that, what ever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God does it, so that men should fear before him. 15That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and God requires that which is past.

16And moreover I saw the place of judgment under the sun, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 17I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time for every purpose and for every work. 18I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them and that they might see that they themselves are animals. 19For that which befalls the sons of men befalls animals; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so the other dies; yes, they all have one breath; so that a man has no preeminence above an animal: for all is vanity. 20All go to one place; all are of the dust and all turn to dust again. 21Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the animal that goes downward to the earth? 22Therefore 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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Chapter 4

1So I returned and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. 2Therefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. 3Yes, better is he who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun and who has not yet been than both of them.

4Again, I considered all travail and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit. 5The fool folds his hands together and eats his own flesh. 6Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

7Then I returned and I saw vanity under the sun. 8There is one alone and there is not a second; yes, he has neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor; nor is his eye satisfied with riches; nor does he say, For whom do I labor and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yes, it is a sore travail. 9Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. 10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him who is alone when he falls; for he does not have another to help him up. 11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

13Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will not be admonished any more. 14For he comes to reign; out of prison whereas also he who is born in his kingdom becomes poor. 15I considered all the living who walk under the sun, with the second child who shall stand up in his place. 16There is no end of all the people, even of all who have been before them: they also who come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

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Chapter 5

1Keep your foot when you go to the house of God and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they do not consider that they do evil. 2Do not be rash with your mouth and let not your heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven and you on earth: therefore let your words be few. 3For a dream comes through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

4When you vow a vow to God, defer not to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools: pay that which you have vowed. 5Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. 6Do not allow your mouth to cause your flesh to sin; nor say before the angel, that it was an error: why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? 7For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also different vanities: but fear God. 8If you see the oppression of the poor and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, do not marvel at the matter: for he who is higher than the highest regards; and he is higher than they.

9Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. 10He who loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance with increase: this is also vanity. 11When goods increase, they are increased who eat them: and what good is there to the owners of it, except the beholding of them with their eyes? 12The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep. 13There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners of it to their hurt. 14But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begets a son and there is nothing in his hand. 15As he came out of his mother's womb, naked he shall return to go as he came and shall take nothing of his labor, which he may carry away in his hand. 16And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit has he who has labored for the wind? 17All his days also he eats in darkness and he has much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

18Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he takes under the sun all the days of his life, which God gives him: for it is his portion. 19Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth and has given him power to eat of it and to take his portion and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. 20For he shall not remember many of the days of his life; because God answers him in the joy of his heart.

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Chapter 6

1There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and it is common among men: 2A man to whom God has given riches, wealth and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a stranger eats it: this is vanity and it is an evil disease. 3If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many and his soul is not filled with good and also that he has no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he. 4For he comes in with vanity and departs in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness. 5Moreover he has not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this has more rest than the other. 6Yes, though he lives twice a thousand years, yet he has seen no good: do not all go to one place?

7All the labor of man is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not filled. 8For what has the wise more than the fool? what has the poor who knows to walk before the living? 9Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit. 10That which has been is already named and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him who is mightier than he.

11Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? 12For who knows what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

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Chapter 7

1A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. 2It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 3Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. 4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 5It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. 6For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

7Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a gift destroys the heart. 8Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 9Do not be hasty to be angry in your spirit: for anger rests in the bosom of fools. 10Do not say, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for you do not enquire wisely concerning this.

11Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to those who see the sun. 12For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom gives life to those who have it. 13Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked? 14In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also has set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. 15All things I have seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16Do not be overly righteous; neither make yourself overly wise: why should you destroy yourself? 17Do not be overly wicked, neither be foolish: why should you die before your time? 18It is good that you should take hold of this; yes, also do not withdraw your hand from this: for he who fears God shall come out of them all. 19Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten mighty men who are in the city. 20For there is not a just man on earth, who does good and does not sin. 21Also take no heed to all words that are spoken; lest you hear your servant curse you: 22For oftentimes also your own heart knows that you yourself likewise have cursed others.

23All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me. 24Who can find it out that which is far off and exceedingly deep? 25I applied my heart to know and to search and to seek out wisdom and the reason of things and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness: 26And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets and her hands are as bands: who ever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. 27Behold, this I have found, says the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account: 28Which my soul still seeks, but I have not found: One man among a thousand I have found; but a woman among all those I have not found. 29Lo, this only have I found, that God has made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

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Chapter 8

1Who is as the wise man? and who knows the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom makes his face to shine and the boldness of his face shall be changed. 2I counsel you to keep the king's commandment and that in regard of the oath of God. 3Do not be hasty to go out of his sight: do not stand in an evil thing; for he does what ever pleases him. 4Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say to him, What do you do? 5Who ever keeps the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.

6Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great on him. 7For he does not know that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? 8There is no man who has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither has he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those who are given to it.

9All this I have seen and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: there is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt. 10And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy and they were forgotten in the city where they had done so: this is also vanity. 11Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it shall be well with those who fear God, who fear before him: 13But it shall not be well with the wicked because he does not fear God, nor shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow.

14There is a vanity which is done on the earth; that there are just men, to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men, to whom it happen according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity. 15Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat and to drink and to be merry: for that shall abide with him from his labor the days of his life which God gives him under the sun. 16When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on the earth: (for also there is one who does not see sleep with his eyes day nor night:) 17Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labors to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man thinks to know it, yet he shall not be able to find it.

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Chapter 9

1For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous and the wise and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knows either love or hatred by all that is before them. 2All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean and to the unclean; to him who sacrifices and to him who who does not sacrifice: as the good is, so is the sinner; and he who swears, as he who fears an oath. 3This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil and madness is in their heart while they live and after that they go to the dead.

4For to him who is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead do not know any thing, nor have they any more reward; for the memory of them is forgotten under the sun. 6Also their love and their hatred and their envy, is now perished; nor have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. 7Go your way, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God now accepts your works. 8Let your garments be always white; and let your head not lack ointment. 9Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of the life of your vanity and in your labor which he has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity: for that is your portion in this life which you take under the sun. 10What ever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave where you will go.

11I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, yet neither is bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all. 12For also man does not know his time: as the fish that are taken in an evil net and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly on them.

13This wisdom I have seen also under the sun and it seemed great to me: 14There was a little city and few men in it; and there came a great king against it and besieged it and built great bulwarks against it: 15Now there was a poor wise man found in it and he delivered the city by his wisdom; yet no man remembered that same poor man. 16Then I said, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised and his words are not heard. 17The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him who rules among fools. 18Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroys much good.

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Chapter 10

1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so does a little folly him who is in reputation for wisdom and honor. 2A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. 3Yes also, when he who is a fool walks by the way, his wisdom fails him and he says to every one that he is a fool.

4If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, do not leave your place; for yielding pacifies great offences. 5There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceeds from the ruler: 6Folly is set in great dignity and the rich sits in a low place. 7I have seen servants on horses and princes walking as servants on the earth. 8He who digs a pit shall fall into it; and whoever breaks a hedge, a serpent shall bite him. 9Whoever removes stones shall be hurt with them; and he who cleaves wood shall be endangered by it. 10If the iron is blunt and he does not whet the edge, then he must put more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. 11Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

12The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 13The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. 14A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? 15The labor of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he does not know how to go to the city.

16Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child and your princes eat in the morning! 17Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles and your princes eat in due season, for strength and not for drunkenness! 18By much slothfulness the building decays; and through idleness of the hands the house drops through. 19A feast is made for laughter and wine makes merry: but money answers all things. 20Do not curse the king, no not in your thought; and do not curse the rich in your bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice and that which has wings shall tell the matter.

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Chapter 11

1Cast your bread on the waters: for you shall find it after many days. 2Give a portion to seven and also to eight; for you do not know what evil shall be on the earth. 3If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth: and if the tree falls toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall be. 4He who observes the wind shall not sow; and he who regards the clouds shall not reap. 5As you know not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child: even so you do not know the works of God who makes all. 6Sow your seed in the morning and in the evening do not withhold your hand: for you do not know whether it shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both alike shall be good.

7Truly the light is sweet and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: 8But if a man lives many years, and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity. 9Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth and walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes: but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. 10Therefore remove sorrow from your heart and put away evil from your flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

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Chapter 12

1Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days do not come, nor the years draw nigh, when you shall say, I have no pleasure in them; 2While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, are not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 3In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble and the strong men shall bow themselves and the grinders cease because they are few and those who look out of the windows are darkened, 4And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; 5Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high and fears shall be in the way and the almond tree shall flourish and the grasshopper shall be a burden and desire shall fail: because man goes to his long home and the mourners go about the streets: 6Or whenever the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7Then the dust shall return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.

8Vanity of vanities, says the preacher; all is vanity. 9And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he gave good heed and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. 10The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. 11The words of the wise are as goads and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. 12And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil.

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