Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

1For everything there is a season, and aa time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to bdie;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what 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 cweep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to ddance;
5a time to ecast away stones, and a time to fgather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to grefrain from embracing;
6a time to seek, and a time to hlose;
a time to keep, and a time to icast away;
7a time to jtear, and a time to sew;
a time to kkeep silence, and a time to speak;
8a time to love, and a time to lhate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

The God-Given Task

9What mgain has the worker from his toil? 10I have seen nthe business that oGod has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11He has pmade everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot qfind out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12I perceived that there is rnothing better for them than to be joyful and to sdo good as long as they live; 13also tthat everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is uGod’s gift to man.

14I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; vnothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15That which is, walready has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God xseeks what has been driven away.
Hebrew  what has been pursued

From Dust to Dust

16Moreover, zI saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even aathere was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17I said in my heart, abGod will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is aca time for every matter and for every work. 18I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but adbeasts. 19 aeFor what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.
The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)
20All go to one place. All are from agthe dust, and to dust all return. 21Who knows whether ahthe spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22So I saw that there is ainothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for ajthat is his lot. Who can bring him to see akwhat will be after him?

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