Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

Wisdom has no purpose

12 I, the Teacher, ruled Israel as king in Jerusalem. 13 I decided to study everything that happens on the earth. I used wisdom to try to understand these things. I realized that God has given people hard work to do, which causes them to suffer. 14 I thought about all the things that people do on the earth. I realized that all these things have no purpose. It is like somebody who tries to catch the wind.

15 If someone has bent something,

you cannot always make it straight again.

You cannot count things,

if they are not there.

1:15These were probably proverbs. There are things that you cannot change. There are things that you cannot even describe.

16 I said to myself, ‘Listen! I have become very wise! I am much wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I know a lot more things than they ever did!’ 17 So I decided to study how much wisdom and knowledge really help a person. I wanted to learn if it was better than someone who only does foolish things. But this was also useless, like somebody who tries to catch the wind.

18 The more wisdom you have,

the more you will worry.

The more you learn,

the more you suffer.

1:18These were probably also proverbs. The more wisdom and knowledge that a person has, the more that person will understand that life has problems.