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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 1

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1The words of David's son, Qoheleth,* king in Jerusalem: a Eccl 7, 27; 12, 8f .

Vanity of Toil without Profit

2Vanity of vanities,* says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities,! All things are vanity! b Eccl 12, 8 . 3What profit has man from all the labor c Eccl 2, 11. 22; 3, 9; 5, 15 . which he toils at under the sun?* One generation passes and anothercomes, but the world forever stays. 5The sun rises and the sun goes down; then it presses on to the place where itrises. 6Blowing now toward the south, thentoward the north, the wind turns again and again,resuming its rounds. 7All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going. 8All speech is labored; there is nothing man can say.* The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear filled with hearing. d Eccl 8, 17 .

9What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun. e Eccl 3, 15; 6, 10 . 10Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us. f Eccl 3, 15 . 11There is no remembrance of the men of old; g Eccl 2, 16 . nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.*

Twofold Introduction. 12I, Qoheleth, was king over Israel in Jerusalem, 13and I applied my mind to search and investigate in wisdom all things that are done under the sun. h Eccl 8, 9 .

A thankless task God has appointed for men to be busied about.

14I have seen all things that are done under the sun, i Eccl 2, 11. 17 . and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind.*

15What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is missing cannot be supplied.

16 j Eccl 2, 9 . Though I said to myself, “Behold, I have become great and stored up wisdom beyond all who were before me in Jerusalem, and my mind has broad experience of wisdom and knowledge”; 17yet when I applied my mind to know wisdom and knowledge, madness and folly, I learned that this also is a chase after wind. k Eccl 2, 3; 7, 25 .

18For in much wisdom there is much sorrow, and he who stores up knowledge storesup grief.

Notes:

a: Eccl 7, 27; 12, 8f .

b: Eccl 12, 8 .

c: Eccl 2, 11. 22; 3, 9; 5, 15 .

d: Eccl 8, 17 .

e: Eccl 3, 15; 6, 10 .

f: Eccl 3, 15 .

g: Eccl 2, 16 .

h: Eccl 8, 9 .

i: Eccl 2, 11. 17 .

j: Eccl 2, 9 .

k: Eccl 2, 3; 7, 25 .

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