Main point summary
Ultimately, everything is fleeting; even what seems to surprise and bring pleasure to the years of the life of man (work, pleasures) is but a mist that disappears after a while. For this reason, don't cling to earthly things, your work, etc. There's no gain in doing this.
Palabras del Predicador a ,
The words of a the Preacher, 1
These are the words of the Herald,
hijo de David,
the son of David,
who is the son of David,
rey en Jerusalén.
b king in Jerusalem.
also the king in Jerusalem.
Vanidad de vanidades, dice el Predicador,
c Vanity 1 of vanities, says a the Preacher,
Utter impermanence, these are the words of the Herald,
vanidad de vanidades, todo es vanidad a .
c vanity of vanities! d All is vanity.
Utter fugacity! Everything is fleeting (a vapor).
¿Qué provecho recibe el hombre
e What f does man gain
Do humans gain anything
de todo el trabajo con que se afana bajo el sol a ?
by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
by means of their hard work while they are alive on the earth?
Una generación va
A generation goes,
One generation dies
y otra generación viene,
and a generation comes,
and it's replaced by a new generation,
mas la tierra permanece para siempre a .
but g the earth remains forever.
yet, after all the generations are gone, the earth will remain (not their labor).
El sol sale
h The sun rises,
The sun comes up,
y el sol se pone a ,
and the sun goes down,
and the sun goes down,
a su lugar se apresura 1 , y de allí vuelve a salir.
and hastens 1 to the place where it rises.
and quickly returns to where it rises.
Soplando 1 hacia el sur, y
i The wind blows to the south
The wind also blows on one direction,
girando hacia el norte,
and goes around to the north;
and travels on the opposite direction;
girando y girando va el viento;
around and around goes the wind,
the wind travels incessantly back and forth,
y sobre sus giros el viento regresa a .
and on its circuits the wind returns.
and ends up traveling back to where it blows.
Todos los ríos van hacia el mar,
All j streams run to the sea,
Think also about the streams that run to the sea
y el mar no se llena;
but the sea is not full;
but are never able to fill it;
al lugar donde los ríos fluyen, allí vuelven a fluir.
to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.
they will flow to the sea over and over again (and the sea will never be filled)
Todas las cosas son fatigosas,
All things are full of weariness;
When you examine everything, you find out that it is tedious and tiring to the extreme,
el hombre no puede expresar las.
a man cannot utter it;
humans are not able to speak of the weariness of all things;
No se sacia a el ojo de ver,
k the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
yet the eye is not content with what it sees,
ni se cansa 1 el oído de oír.
nor the ear filled with hearing.
and the ear is not saturated with the things it hears.
Lo que fue, eso será,
l What has been is what will be,
The things of the past are the things of the future,
y lo que se hizo, eso se hará a ;
and what has been done is what will be done,
moreover, what was done in the past is what will be done in the future,
no hay nada nuevo bajo el sol.
and there is nothing new under the sun.
for there's nothing new to be done on earth.
¿Hay algo de que se pueda decir:
Is there a thing of which it is said,
Can it be said of anything:
Mira, esto es nuevo?
“See, this is new”?
This has never occurred before?
Ya existía en los siglos que nos precedieron.
It has been m already in the ages before us.
No, for it has been done/it has been in the past with the previous generations.
No hay memoria de las cosas primeras
There is no n remembrance of former things, 1
The things of the past are not remembered,
ni tampoco de las postreras que sucederán;
nor will there be any remembrance of later things 2
nor will the things of the future be remembered
no habrá memoria de ellas entre los que vendrán después a .
yet to be among those who come after.
by the generation who are to come after .
Four possibilities: Action - Result: The weariness of things is so great that, as a result, man is overwhelmed by it and not able to utter it. (This one seems to make the most sense) Inference: Because of the great weariness of things, man is not able to utter it. Progression: Things are full of weariness. The level of weariness is so extreme that I man cannot utter it. Id/Exp: Everything is full of weariness. An expression if this great weariness is demonstrated in the inability of man to utter such weariness.
The Preacher declares that there's nothing new, but to say this one must assume that the former things can be remembered(vv.10), however, in the next verse he affirms that there's no remembrance of former things. He seems to deny his own premise. I need to understand what he meant by this.
He affirms that everything becomes tiresome and is fleeting, but he also says that the eye and the ear are not satisfied with these things which, supposedly, are tiresome and fleeting. Is there satisfaction in what is seen and fulfillment in what is heard? I believe the Preacher is saying; No; there's no ultimate? satisfaction in these things because they all vanish.
Is there something truly satisfactory under the sun? 2:24-26
Several questions that come to mind after reading these verses are: 1. Why do you have to write about these things? This is kind of depressing. 8:14-15 2. Is there a purpose in writing this? A superficial reading of the text is not uplifting or encouraging. 12:13-14 3. What does this teach me about a creator who is reconciling the world to Himself? 8:12-13 4. Did God create the world and everything in it to be boring or bland? 3:10-11 5. How does this text magnify the Name of the Lord? 3;14-15;
I don't quite understand why the solar cycle, the precipitation cycle and the wind cycle is so uninteresting and fleeting to the author. I think he's not stating that these things are fleeting and uninteresting, instead, I think he is saying man's hard work is fleeting when one considers how the Sun, the wind and the waters continue to move invariably regardless of man's troubles. He's comparing man's ephemeral existence vv.3 - vv.4 to the constancy of the stars, the waters and the wind. The later things remain and they do no hard work, while the former thing - man - dies and is forgotten after much hard work.
The preacher is not saying that man is losing something by working hard while he's alive. He is saying, however, that there's no ultimate gain in working tremendously hard on earth. Gain: In this context, I think this word means those things which can be treasured, kept, delighted in and satisfied in here on earth and after death (after a generation goes). The author asks the first question (Can one count these things as gains if...) and in the following verses shows how the things worked for on this earth will not last or be remembered. So, if a man believes he's gaining something by working hard under the sun in order to keep it and be satisfied in these things forever, man is going to realize very quickly that he's multiplied his losses.
Keywords: Vanity, man, earth, under the sun, remembrance, new and old, toil, gain. 2 Q's being answered: What gains a man...? Is there anything new...?