Ecclesiastes 2 New American Standard Bible

2 1  I said to myself , "Come now , I will test you with pleasure . So enjoy yourself." And behold , it too was futility . 2  I said of laughter , "It is madness ," and of pleasure , "What does it accomplish ?" 3  I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely , and how to take hold of folly , until e I could see what e good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives . 4  I enlarged my works : I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; 5  I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees ; 6  I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees . 7  I bought male and female slaves e and I had homeborn e slaves . Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem . 8  Also , I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces . I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men e -many concubines . 9  Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem . My wisdom also stood by me. 10  All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure , for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor . 11  Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted , and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun .

12  So I turned to consider wisdom , madness and folly ; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done ? 13  And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness . 14  The wise man's eyes are in his head , but the fool walks in darkness . And yet I know that one fate befalls them both . 15  Then I said to myself , " As is the fate of the fool , it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise ?" So I said to myself , "This too is vanity ." 16  For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool , inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten . And how the wise man and the fool alike die !

17  So I hated life , for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind . 18  Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun , for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19  And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool ? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun . This too is vanity . 20  Therefore I completely e despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun . 21  When there is a man who has labored with wisdom , knowledge and skill , then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil . 22  For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun ? 23  Because all his days his task is painful and grievous ; even at night his mind does not rest . This too is vanity . 24  There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good . This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God . 25  For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without e Him? 26  For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy , while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight . This too is vanity and striving after wind .

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