What is new? (Eccl 1:8-1:11)

“All things are wearisome.

More than one can express.

The eye is not satisfied with seeing.

The ear is not filled with hearing.

What has been

Is what will be.

What has been done

Is what will be done.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said?

‘See!

This is new.’

It has already been

In the ages before us.

People of long ago

Are not remembered.

There will be no remembrance

Of people yet to come

By those who come after them.”

Qoheleth was weary of everything. His eyes and his ears were weary, always looking and listening for more. However, the past is a predictor of the future. Whatever was done in the past will happen again in the future. Then there is the famous saying that there is nothing new under the sun. Perhaps in human relations not much changes. However, Qoheleth did not live in the technological 21st century, where things like airplanes, automobiles, radio communications, TV, computers, and I-phones would have surprised him as new things. It is true that human behavior is repetitive. We do tend to forget about the people in the past, just as the people in the future will forget about us.

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