Ecclesiastes Chapter 3  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Eccl 3

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
  2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted;
  3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up;
  4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  6a time to search, and a time to count it as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
  7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak;
  8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

9What profit is there to the worker from his labor?
  10I have seen the business that God has given to the children of men to be busy with.
  11He has made everything appropriate in its time. Also, he has set eternity in their hearts, yet not in such a way that man can find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end.
  12I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good as long as they live.
  13And also that each one should eat and drink and enjoy the good resulting from all his labor—this is the gift of God.
  14I know that whatever God does will be forever. Nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; and God has done it so that people should fear before him.
  15That which is, has already been; and that which is to be, has already been; and God seeks that which is pursued.

16And moreover I saw this under the sun: in the place of justice, that wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, that wickedness was there.
  17I said in my heart, “God will judge the righteous person and the wicked person, for there is a time of judgment for every purpose and for every deed.”
  18I said in my heart, “As for the children of men, God tests them so that they may see that they themselves are but animals.
  19For the fate of the children of men and the fate of animals is one: as the one dies, so the other dies. They all have one spirit,a and man has no advantage over the animals, for all is pointless.
  20All go to one place. All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.
  21Who knows the spirit of man, whether it goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, whether it goes downward into the earth?”
  22So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his works, for that is his portion; for who can bring him to see what will be after him?

Lit. ruach, traditionally “spirit,” here referring to the life force in the person or animal usually called “soul.”

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