Author, Theme, and Subject Identified (1:1-3)
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities! all is vanity. 3 What profit hath man of all his labour wherewith he laboureth under the sun?
Futility Observed in the Cycles of Life (1:4-11)
Nothing Seems to Change (1:4-7)
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh, but the earth standeth for ever. 5 The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to its place where it ariseth. 6 The wind goeth towards the south, and turneth about towards the north: it turneth about continually, and the wind returneth again to its circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full: unto the place whither the rivers go, thither they go again.
Nothing Seems to Satisfy (1:8)
8 All things are full of toil; none can express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
Nothing is New Under the Sun (1:9-11)
9 That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which will be done: and there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already in the ages which were before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be remembrance of things that are to come with those who shall live afterwards.