1Everything has its own time—a time for all that happens here:
2A time of birth, and a time of death. A time of planting, and a time of harvest.
3A time of killing, and a time of healing. A time of tearing down, and a time of building up.
4A time of crying, and a time of laughing. A time of mourning, and a time of dancing.
5A time of throwing away stones, and a time of gathering up stones. A time of embracing, and a time of avoiding embracing.
6A time of searching, and a time of giving up searching. A time of keeping, and a time of throwing away.
7A time of tearing, and a time of mending. A time of keeping quiet, a time of speaking up.
8A time of loving, and a time of hating. A time of warfare, and a time of peace.
9So what do you get for all your hard work?
10I have examined what God gives us to do.
11Everything God does is beautifully timed, and even though he has also placed the idea of eternity in our minds, we can't fully understand what God does from beginning to end.
12I concluded that there's nothing better than being happy and looking for the good in life.
13In addition everyone should eat and drink and enjoy their work—this is God's gift to us.
14I also concluded that everything God does lasts forever: nothing can be added to it or taken away from it. God acts in this way so that people may stand in awe of him.
15Whatever was, is; and whatever will be, has been, and God examines the whole of time.
16I also observed that here on earth there was evil even in the place where there was supposed to be justice; even where things were meant to be right, there was evil.
17But then I thought to myself, “Ultimately God will judge both those who do right and those who do wrong, and every deed and action, at the appointed time.”
18I also thought to myself, “Regarding what happens to human beings—God proves to us that we're no better than animals.”
19For what happens to human beings is the same as what happens to animals—in the same way one dies, the other dies too. They all have the breath of life—so regarding any advantage human beings have over animals, there is none. Definitely this is very hard to understand!
20They all end up in the same place—they all came from dust, and they all return to dust.
21Who really knows whether the breath of life of human beings goes up above, and the breath of life of animals goes down below to the earth?
22So I concluded that there's nothing better than for people to enjoy their work. This is what we are meant to do. For who can bring anyone back from the dead to show them what will happen after they die?