Ecclesiastes 3

1There is a right time for everything. And everything on earth will happen at the right time. 2There is a time to be born, and a time to die. There is a time to plant, and a time to pull up plants. 3There is a time to kill, and a time to heal. There is a time to destroy, and a time to build. 4There is a time to cry, and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad, and a time to dance from joy. 5There is a time to throw weapons down, and a time to pick them up. There is a time to hug someone, and a time to stop holding so tightly. 6There is a time to look for something, and a time to consider it lost. There is a time to keep things, and a time to throw things away. 7There is a time to tear cloth, and there is a time to sew it. There is a time to be silent, and a time to speak. 8There is a time to love, and a time to hate. There is a time for war, and a time for peace. 9Does a person really gain anything from his hard work? ˻No!˼ 10I saw all the hard work God gave us to do. 11God gave us the ability to think about his world. But we can never completely understand everything God does. And yet, God does everything at just the right time. 12I learned that the best thing for people to do is to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live. 13God wants every person to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. These are gifts from God. 14I learned that anything God does will continue forever. People can’t add anything to the work of God. And people can’t take anything away from the work of God. God did this so people would respect him. 15Things that happened in the past have happened, ˻and we can’t change them˼. And things that will happen in the future will happen, ˻and we can’t change them˼. But God wants to help people that have been treated badly. 16I also saw these things in this life. I saw that the courts should be filled with goodness and fairness—but there is evil there now. 17So I said to myself, “God has planned a time for everything. And God has planned a time to judge everything people do. God will judge the good people and the bad people.” 18I thought about the things people do to each other. And I said to myself, “God wants people to see that they are like animals. 19Is a man better than an animal? ˻No!˼ Why? Because everything is useless. The same thing happens to animals and to people—they die. People and animals have the same “breath.” Is a dead animal different from a dead person? 20The bodies of people and animals end the same way. They came from the earth, and in the end they will go back to the earth. 21Who knows what happens to the spirit of a man? Who knows if a man’s spirit goes up to God while an animal’s spirit goes down into the ground? 22So I saw that the best thing a person can do is to enjoy what he does. That is all he has. ˻Also a person should not worry about the future.˼ Why? Because no one can help that person see what will happen in the future.

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