The New International Version

Ecclesiastes 1:12–18

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Wisdom Is Meaningless

12 I, the Teacher,l was king over Israel in Jerusalem.m 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.n What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!o 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.p

15 What is crooked cannot be straightened;q

what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me;r I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom,s and also of madness and folly,t but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;u

the more knowledge, the more grief.v

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