Chapter One, 1-9
The words of Qohelet son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Merest breath, said Qohelet, merest breath. All is mere
What gain is there for man in all his toil that he toils under
A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth
The sun rises and the sun sets, and to its place it glides,
there it rises.
It goes to the south and swings round to the north, round and
round goes the wind, and on its rounds the wind returns.
All the rivers go to the sea, and the sea is not full.
To the place that the rivers go, there they return to go.
All things are weary. A man cannot speak. The eye is not
sated with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
That which was is that which will be, and that which was done
is that which will be done, and there is nothing new
under the sun.
Chapter Twelve, 3-8
On the day that the guards of the house will quake
and the stalwart men be twisted,
and the maids who grind grow idle, for they are now few,
and those who look from the casements go dark.
And the double doors close in the market
as the sound of the mill sinks down,
and the sound of the bird arises,
and all the songstresses are bowed.
Of the very height they are afraid,
and terror is in the road.
And the almond blossoms,
and the locust tree is laden,
and the caper-fruit falls apart.
For man is going to his everlasting house,
and the mourners turn around in the market.
Until the silver cord is snapped,
and the golden bowl is smashed,
and the pitcher is broken against the well,
and the jug smashed at the pit.
And dust returns to the earth as it was,
and the life-breath returns to God Who gave it.
Merest breath, said Qohelet. All is mere breath.