To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.
From the book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses 1 through 13.
As the New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges says, “…reading Ecclesiastes is like reading Beckett.”
This is from the New King James translation, the only version of the Good Book that I’ll pick up. Peter Hitchens defended the KJV (over other versions) like this:
“…We have now had two generations brought up to believe that nobody and nothing has the right to tell them what to do, or to restrict or restrain themselves – especially in what they regard as their private life.
And they can tell within minutes of encountering the Authorised Version of the Bible, that it is their enemy’s weapon. This is because it is not simply a translation, but a poetic translation, written to be read out loud to country people in large buildings without loudspeakers, to be remembered, to lodge in the mind and to disturb the temporal with the haunting sound of the eternal. In this it is very effective…
As for ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ and ‘ye’, these remind the reader or listener that they are in a poetic and eternal context, not reading Harry Potter or listening to the radio news.”
Read his brother’s similar and equally spirited defense of the NKJV below:
“To seek restlessly to update The Bible or make it ‘relevant’ is to miss the point, like yearning for a hip-hop Shakespeare.
‘Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward,’ says the Book of Job. Want to try to improve that for Twitter?”
The picture above was taken on Inch Beach in Ireland.