Ecclesiastes, Chapter 2

2:1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure: and, look, this also was vanity.
2:2 I said of laughter, It is insane; and of mirth, What does it do?
2:3 I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding [me] with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, until I might see what it was good for the sons of man that they should do under heaven all the days of their life.
2:4 I made myself great works; I built myself houses; I planted myself vineyards;
2:5 I made myself gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit;
2:6 I made myself pools of water, to water therefrom the forest where trees were reared;
2:7 I bought male slaves and female slaves, and had slaves born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all who were before me in Jerusalem;
2:8 I gathered myself also silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces; I got myself men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of man, many women.
2:9 So I was great, and increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
2:10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them; I did not withhold my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor; and this was my portion from all my labor.
2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, look, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
2:12 And I turned myself to look at wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what [can] man [do] who comes after the king? [Even] that which has been done long ago.
2:13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness.
2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, and the fool walks in darkness: and yet I perceived that one event happens to them all.
2:15 Then I said in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it will happen even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
2:16 For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance forever; seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. And how the wise man dies even as the fool!
2:17 So I hated life, because the work that is wrought under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a striving after wind.
2:18 And I hated all my labor in which I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to man who will be after me.
2:19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have rule over all my labor in which I have labored, and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
2:20 Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor in which I had labored under the sun.
2:21 For there is man whose labor is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skillfulness; yet to man who has not labored in it he will leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
2:22 For what has man of all his labor, and of the striving of his heart, in which he labors under the sun?
2:23 For all his days are [but] sorrows, and his travail is grief; yes, even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
2:24 Is it not good that man should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor? This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.
2:25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
2:26 For to [the] man who pleases him [God] gives wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

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Text from UPDV Updated Bible Version 2.17 plus Pending Changes.
Copyright © 2003-2023 by Greg Abrams.