1 The words of Ecclesiastes, the son of David, the king of Jerusalem.
2 Ecclesiastes said: Vanity of vanities! Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity!
3 What more does a man have from all his labor, as he labors under the sun?
4 A generation passes away, and a generation arrives. But the earth stands forever.
5 The sun rises and sets; it returns to its place, and from there, being born again,
6 it circles through the south, and arcs toward the north. The spirit continues on, illuminating everything in its circuit, and turning again in its cycle.
7 All rivers enter into the sea, and the sea does not overflow. To the place from which the rivers go out, they return, so that they may flow again.
8 Such things are difficult; man is not able to explain them with words. The eye is not satisfied by seeing, nor is the ear fulfilled by hearing.
9 What is it that has existed? The same shall exist in the future. What is it that has been done? The same shall continue to be done.
10 There is nothing new under the sun. Neither is anyone able to say: “Behold, this is new!” For it has already been brought forth in the ages that were before us.
11 There is no remembrance of the former things. Indeed, neither shall there be any record of past things in the future, for those who will exist at the very end.
12 I, Ecclesiastes, was king of Israel at Jerusalem.
13 And I was determined in my mind to seek and to investigate wisely, concerning all that is done under the sun. God has given this very difficult task to the sons of men, so that they may be occupied by it.
14 I have seen all that is done under the sun, and behold: all is emptiness and an affliction of the spirit.
15 The perverse are unwilling to be corrected, and the number of the foolish is boundless.
16 I have spoken in my heart, saying: “Behold, I have achieved greatness, and I have surpassed all the wise who were before me in Jerusalem.” And my mind has contemplated many things wisely, and I have learned.
17 And I have dedicated my heart, so that I may know prudence and doctrine, and also error and foolishness. Yet I recognize that, in these things also, there is hardship, and affliction of the spirit.
18 Because of this, with much wisdom there is also much anger. And whoever adds knowledge, also adds hardship.
1 I said in my heart: “I will go forth and overflow with delights, and I will enjoy good things.” And I saw that this, too, is emptiness.
2 Laughter, I considered an error. And to rejoicing, I said: “Why are you being deceived, to no purpose?”
3 I decided in my heart to withdraw my flesh from wine, so that I might bring my mind to wisdom, and turn away from foolishness, until I see what is useful for the sons of men, and what they ought to do under the sun, during the number of the days of their life.
4 I magnified my works. I built houses for myself, and I planted vineyards.
5 I made gardens and orchards. And I planted them with trees of every kind.
6 And I dug out fishponds of water, so that I might irrigate the forest of growing trees.
7 I obtained men and women servants, and I had a great family, as well as herds of cattle and great flocks of sheep, beyond all who were before me in Jerusalem.
8 I amassed for myself silver and gold, and the wealth of kings and governors. I chose men and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, bowls and pitchers for the purpose of pouring wine.
9 And I surpassed in opulence all who were before me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also persevered with me.
10 And all that my eyes desired, I did not refuse them. Neither did I prohibit my heart from enjoying every pleasure, and from amusing itself in the things that I had prepared. And I regarded this as my share, as if I were making use of my own labors.
11 But when I turned myself toward all the works that my hands had made, and to the labors in which I had perspired to no purpose, I saw emptiness and affliction of the soul in all things, and that nothing is permanent under the sun.
12 I continued on, so as to contemplate wisdom, as well as error and foolishness. “What is man,” I said, “that he would be able to follow his Maker, the King?”
13 And I saw that wisdom surpasses foolishness, so much so that they differ as much as light from darkness.
14 The eyes of a wise man are in his head. A foolish man walks in darkness. Yet I learned that one would pass away like the other.
15 And I said in my heart: “If the death of both the foolish and myself will be one, how does it benefit me, if I have given myself more thoroughly to the work of wisdom?” And as I was speaking within my own mind, I perceived that this, too, is emptiness.
16 For there will not be a remembrance in perpetuity of the wise, nor of the foolish. And the future times will cover everything together, with oblivion. The learned die in a manner similar to the unlearned.
17 And, because of this, my life wearied me, since I saw that everything under the sun is evil, and everything is empty and an affliction of the spirit.
18 Again, I detested all my efforts, by which I had earnestly labored under the sun, to be taken up by an heir after me,
19 though I know not whether he will be wise or foolish. And yet he will have power over my labors, in which I have toiled and been anxious. And is there anything else so empty?
20 Therefore, I ceased, and my heart renounced further laboring under the sun.
21 For when someone labors in wisdom, and doctrine, and prudence, he leaves behind what he has obtained to one who is idle. So this, too, is emptiness and a great burden.
22 For how can a man benefit from all his labor and affliction of spirit, by which he has been tormented under the sun?
23 All his days have been filled with sorrows and hardships; neither does he rest his mind, even in the night. And is this not emptiness?
24 Is it not better to eat and drink, and to show his soul the good things of his labors? And this is from the hand of God.
25 So who will feast and overflow with delights as much as I have?
26 God has given, to the man who is good in his sight, wisdom, and knowledge, and rejoicing. But to the sinner, he has given affliction and needless worrying, so as to add, and to gather, and to deliver, to him who has pleased God. But this, too, is emptiness and a hollow worrying of the mind.
1 All things have their time, and all things under heaven continue during their interval.
2 A time to be born, and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pull up what was planted.
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
6 A time to gain, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away.
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
8 A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What more does a man have from his labor?
10 I have seen the affliction that God has given to the sons of men, in order that they may be occupied by it.
11 He has made all things good in their time, and he has handed over the world to their disputes, so that man may not discover the work which God made from the beginning, even until the end.
12 And I realize that there is nothing better than to rejoice, and to do well in this life.
13 For this is a gift from God: when each man eats and drinks, and sees the good results of his labor.
14 I have learned that all the works which God has made continue on, in perpetuity. We are not able to add anything, nor to take anything away, from those things which God has made in order that he may be feared.
15 What has been made, the same continues. What is in the future, has already existed. And God restores what has passed away.
16 I saw under the sun: instead of judgment, impiety, and instead of justice, iniquity.
17 And I said in my heart: “God will judge the just and the impious, and then the time for each matter shall be.”
18 I said in my heart, about the sons of men, that God would test them, and reveal them to be like wild animals.
19 For this reason, the passing away of man and of beasts is one, and the condition of both is equal. For as a man dies, so also do they die. All things breathe similarly, and man has nothing more than beast; for all these are subject to vanity.
20 And all things continue on to one place; for from the earth they were made, and unto the earth they shall return together.
21 Who knows if the spirit of the sons of Adam ascend upward, and if the spirit of the beasts descend downward?
22 And I have discovered nothing to be better than for a man to rejoice in his work: for this is his portion. And who shall add to him, so that he may know the things that will occur after him?
52 Know that I have returned to my kingdom, and I am seated upon the throne of my fathers, and I have obtained the leadership, and I have crushed Demetrius, and I have taken possession of our country,
53 and I have joined battle with him, and both he and his camp have been crushed by us, and we are seated on the throne of his kingdom.
54 And now, let us establish a friendship with one with another. And give me your daughter as a wife, and I will be your son-in-law, and I will give gifts that are worthy of you, to both you and her.”
55 And king Ptolemy responded by saying: “Happy is the day on which you were returned to the land of your fathers, and you sat on the throne of their kingdom.
56 And now, I will do for you as you have written. But meet with me at Ptolemais, so that we may see one another, and so that I may espouse her to you, just as you have said.”
57 And so Ptolemy departed from Egypt, both he and his daughter Cleopatra, and he arrived at Ptolemais in the one hundred and sixty-second year.
58 And king Alexander met him, and he gave him Cleopatra, his daughter. And he celebrated her marriage at Ptolemais with great glory, just as befits kings.
59 And king Alexander wrote to Jonathan, that he should come to meet him.
60 And he went forth with glory to Ptolemais, and he met the two kings there, and he gave them much silver, and gold, and gifts. And he found favor in their sight.
61 And some of the pestilent men of Israel, men of iniquity, came together against him, interrupting with objections against him. And the king did not attend to them.
62 And he ordered that Jonathan’s garments be taken away from him, and that he be clothed in purple. And they did so. And the king arranged for him to sit with him.
63 And he said to his princes, “Go out with him into the midst of the city, and make a proclamation, so that no one may raise objections against him in any matter, and so that no one may bother him for any reason.”
64 And so it happened that, when his accusers saw his glory being proclaimed, and him clothed in purple, they all fled away.
65 And the king magnified him, and he enrolled him among his foremost friends, and he gave him a position as governor and as a participant in his dominion.
66 And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem with peace and joy.
67 In the one hundred and sixty-fifth year, Demetrius, the son of Demetrius, came from Crete into the land of his fathers.
68 And king Alexander heard of it, and he was very sorrowful, and he returned to Antioch.
69 And king Demetrius appointed Apollonius as his general, who was in charge of Coelesyria. And he gathered together a great army, and he drew near to Jamnia. And he sent to Jonathan, the high priest,
70 saying: “You alone resist us, and so I have been brought to derision and disgrace, because you exercise your power against us in the mountains.
71 Now, therefore, if you trust in your forces, descend to us in the plains, and there let us contest one another. For the power of war is with me.
72 Inquire, and learn who I am, and the others, who are auxiliaries to me, who also say that your feet cannot stand before our face, for your fathers have twice been put to flight in their own land.
1 They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Sion: he shall not be moved for ever that dwelleth
2 In Jerusalem. Mountains are round about it: so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth now and for ever.
3 For the Lord will not leave the rod of sinners upon the lot of the just: that the just may not stretch forth their hands to iniquity.
4 Do good, O Lord, to those that are good, and to the upright of heart.
5 But such as turn aside into bonds, the Lord shall lead out with the workers of iniquity: peace upon Israel.
1 For the law contains the shadow of future good things, not the very image of these things. So, by the very same sacrifices which they offer ceaselessly each year, they can never cause these to approach perfection.
2 Otherwise, they would have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer be conscious of any sin.
3 Instead, in these things, a commemoration of sins is made every year.
4 For it is impossible for sins to be taken away by the blood of oxen and goats.
5 For this reason, as Christ enters into the world, he says: “Sacrifice and oblation, you did not want. But you have fashioned a body for me.
6 Holocausts for sin were not pleasing to you.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I draw near.’ At the head of the book, it has been written of me that I should do your will, O God.”
8 In the above, by saying, “Sacrifices, and oblations, and holocausts for sin, you did not want, nor are those things pleasing to you, which are offered according to the law;
9 then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,’ ” he takes away the first, so that he may establish what follows.
10 For by this will, we have been sanctified, through the one time oblation of the body of Jesus Christ.
11 And certainly, every priest stands by, ministering daily, and frequently offering the same sacrifices, which are never able to take away sins.
12 But this man, offering one sacrifice for sins, sits at the right hand of God forever,
13 awaiting that time when his enemies will be made his footstool.
14 For, by one oblation, he has brought to fulfillment, for all time, those who are sanctified.
15 Now the Holy Spirit also testifies for us about this. For afterward, he said:
16 And this is the testament which I will commit to them after those days, says the Lord. I will instill my laws in their hearts, and I will inscribe my laws on their minds.
17 And I will no longer remember their sins and iniquities.”
18 Now, when there is a remission of these things, there is no longer an oblation for sin.
19 And so, brothers, have faith in the entrance into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Christ,
20 and in the new and living Way, which he has initiated for us by the veil, that is, by his flesh,
21 and in the Great Priest over the house of God.
22 So, let us draw near with a true heart, in the fullness of faith, having hearts cleansed from an evil conscience, and bodies absolved with clean water.
23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope, without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.
24 And let us be considerate of one another, so as to prompt ourselves to charity and to good works,
25 not deserting our assembly, as some are accustomed to do, but consoling one another, and even more so as you see that the day is approaching.
26 For if we sin willingly, after receiving knowledge of the truth, there is no sacrifice remaining for sins,
27 but instead, a certain terrible expectation of judgment, and the rage of a fire that shall consume its adversaries.
28 If someone dies for acting against the law of Moses, and is shown no compassion because of two or three witnesses,
29 how much more, do you think, someone would deserve worse punishments, if he has tread upon the Son of God, and has treated the blood of the testament, by which he was sanctified, as unclean, and has acted with disgrace toward the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know that he has said: “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”
31 It is dreadful to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But call to mind the former days, in which, after being enlightened, you endured a great struggle of afflictions.
33 And certainly, in one way, by insults and tribulations, you were made a spectacle, but in another way, you became the companions of those who were the object of such behavior.
34 For you even had compassion on those who were imprisoned, and you accepted with gladness being deprived of your goods, knowing that you have a better and more lasting substance.
35 And so, do not lose your confidence, which has a great reward.
36 For it is necessary for you to be patient, so that, by doing the will of God, you may receive the promise.
37 For, in a little while, and somewhat longer, he who is to come will return, and he will not delay.
38 For my just man lives by faith. But if he were to draw himself back, he would not please my soul.”
39 So then, we are not sons who are drawn away to perdition, but we are sons of faith toward the securing of the soul.