OLD TESTAMENT READING Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12–14; 2:18–26
2Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
12I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13And I
applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is
done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to
the children of man to be busy with. 14I have seen everything that is
done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after
2:18I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I
must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19and who knows
whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for
which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is
vanity. 20So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all
the toil of my labors under the sun, 21because sometimes a person
who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave
everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This
also is vanity and a great evil. 22What has a man from all the toil and
striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23For all his
days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night
his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
24There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and
drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the
hand of God, 25for apart from him who can eat or who can have
enjoyment? 26For to the one who pleases him God has given
wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the
business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who
pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
A This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.