Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:11Contemporary English Version (CEV)
It Is Senseless To Be Wise
12 I said these things when I lived in Jerusalem as king of Israel. 13 With all my wisdom I tried to understand everything that happens here on earth. And God has made this so hard for us humans to do. 14 I have seen it all, and everything is just as senseless as chasing the wind.[a]
15 If something is crooked, it can’t be made straight; if something isn’t there, it can’t be counted.
16 I said to myself, “You are by far the wisest person who has ever lived in Jerusalem. You are eager to learn, and you have learned a lot.” 17 Then I decided to find out all I could about wisdom and foolishness. Soon I realized that this too was as senseless as chasing the wind. [b]
18 The more you know, the more you hurt; the more you understand, the more you suffer.
It Is Senseless To Be Selfish
2 I said to myself, “Have fun and enjoy yourself!” But this didn’t make sense. 2 Laughing and having fun is crazy. What good does it do? 3 I wanted to find out what was best for us during the short time we have on this earth. So I decided to make myself happy with wine and find out what it means to be foolish, without really being foolish myself.
4 I did some great things. I built houses and planted vineyards. 5 I had flower gardens and orchards full of fruit trees. 6 And I had pools where I could get water for the trees. 7 I owned slaves, and their sons and daughters became my slaves. I had more sheep and goats than anyone who had ever lived in Jerusalem. 8 Foreign rulers brought me silver, gold, and precious treasures. Men and women sang for me, and I had many wives[c] who gave me great pleasure.
9 I was the most famous person who had ever lived in Jerusalem, and I was very wise. 10 I got whatever I wanted and did whatever made me happy. But most of all, I enjoyed my work. 11 Then I thought about everything I had done, including the hard work, and it was simply chasing the wind.[d] Nothing on earth is worth the trouble.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.