Qohlat (Ecclesiastes)

Qohlat 3

1. There is a season for everything, and a season for every wish under the sun.
2. A season to be born and a season to die, a season to plant and a season to harvest,*
3. A season to kill and a season to let live, a season to tear down and a season to build,
4. A season to cry and a season to laugh, a season to writhe and a season to dance,
5. A season to cast stones and a season to gather the stones, a season to hug and a season to spurn,*
6. A season to annihilate and a season to love, a season to pack and a season to unpack,
7. A season to tear and a season to sew, a season to shut up and a season to speak,
8. A season to have mercy and a season to hate, a season for war and a season for peace.
9. And what is the benefit of that which he does?
10. I saw the labor that Maryah gave humanity to toil with.
11. Everything that he does is beautiful in its season, as no man* can find out what works Maryah has performed from the beginning to the end.
12. And I knew that it was not that they [wanted to be] good, except that they [wanted to do] good and be happy.
13. And also every person who drank and ate and saw goodness through all his or her works, that is a gift of Maryah.
14. I knew that whatever Maryah does, it is done to the end of the universe;* there is nothing that can be added to it, nor anything that can be subtracted, and Maryah does it so as they may submit* to Him.
15. What comes into being does so out of necessity, and whatever happens is as a result of the excess, and Allaha seeks the outcast who was persecuted.
16. And again I looked under the sun and [I saw] a land* of justice where there was wickedness and a land of righteousness where there was abomination.
17. And I said in my heart Allaha shall judge both* the righteous and the wicked, because there is a season for all who wish and for who work there.
18. I said in my heart according to what human beings say, that Allaha has created them,
19. To whom there befalls the fate of the human beings and the fate of animals, their fate is all one fate, as one dies so dies the other, and it is one spirit for all of them, and the human being is not better off than the animal, because everything is vanity.
20. Everything goes to the same place,* everyone was from dust, and everyone returns to dust.
21. And who knows if the spirit of the human being goes above and the spirit of the animal goes down to earth?
22. And I saw that there was no one good among them, except that a human being should be happy with his works, because that is all the thanks he will get,* because who can bring him back to see all that will happen after him?

Translated by Victor Alexander ©2013

Footnotes
*3:2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Dig up."
*3:5 Lit. Ar. id.: "Refrain from hugging."
*3:11 Lit. Ar. id.: "Human."
*3:14.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Forever."
*3:14.2 Lit. Ar. id.: Or "Fear Him."
*3:16 Lit. Ar. id.: "Country," or "Region."
*3:17 Lit. Ar. id.: "The actual."

Apr. 18, 2013

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