Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

Wisdom has no purpose

12 I said these things when I was the king of my country, Israel. I lived in the city called Jerusalem. There I ruled my country. 13 I also studied a lot and I was very wise. I thought about the things that happen here on the earth. And I tried to understand them. But God has made this very difficult for us to do. 14 I have seen all the things that happen on the earth. There is no reason for any of them. It is like somebody who tries to catch the wind.

15 People may do things that are wrong.

This is like something that you have bent.

When you have bent it, you cannot make it straight again.

Neither can you count things that are not there.

16 ‘I have become a really great man,’ I told myself. ‘There have been other kings who have ruled in Jerusalem. But I am more wise than any of them,’ I thought. 17 I wanted to learn all that I could learn about wisdom. I also wanted to know how a fool thinks. But this, too, was like somebody who tries to catch the wind.

18 If I learn to be very wise, I will be very sad.

If I learn a lot about many things, that will be very painful for me.

1:18The Teacher is very honest. He does not say that life is good. He knows that it is not always good. Without God's wisdom, he cannot understand the things that happen on the earth.