Ecclesiastes 2 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)
2 Therefore I said in mine heart, I shall go, and I shall flow in delights, and I shall use goods; and I saw also that this was vanity. (And so I said in my heart, I shall go, and I shall enjoy all delights, and I shall enjoy all good things; and I saw that this was also empty and futile.)
2 And laughing I areckoned error, and I said to joy, What art thou, deceived in vain? (And I reckoned laughter as but error, and I said to joy, Of what value art thou?)
3 I thought in mine heart to withdraw my flesh from wine, that I should lead over my soul to wisdom, and that I would eschew folly, till I should see, what were profitable to the sons of men; in which deed the number of days of their life under the sun is needful. (I thought in my heart to withdraw my flesh from wine, so that I could lead over my soul unto wisdom, and so that I would eschew foolishness, until I could see, what was profitable to the sons and daughters of men; yea, which deeds, or works, be useful, or meaningful, all the days of their lives under the sun.)
4 I magnified, either made great, my works, I builded houses to me (I built houses for myself), and I planted vines;
5 I made yards and orchards, and I set those with trees of all kind(s);
6 and I made cisterns of waters, for to water the wood of [the] trees growing. (and I made water cisterns, to water the trees growing in the woods, or in the groves.)
7 I had in possession servants and handmaids; and I had much household, and droves of great beasts, and great flocks of sheep, over all men that were before me in Jerusalem. (I had in possession servants and servantesses/male and female slaves; and I had many slaves born in my house, and herds of great beasts, and great flocks of sheep, yea, more than all those who came before me in Jerusalem.)
8 I gathered together to me silver and gold, and the castles of kings and of provinces; I made to me singers and singeresses, and [the] delights of the sons of men, and cups and vessels in service, to pour out wines; (I gathered together for myself silver and gold, from the castles of kings and out of provinces; I got singers and singeresses for myself, and enjoyed all the delights of the sons and daughters of men, yea, with cups and vessels for service, to pour the wine into;)
9 and I passed in riches all men that were before me in Jerusalem. Also wisdom dwelled stably with me, (and I surpassed in wealth all those who came before me in Jerusalem. And wisdom dwelled steadfastly with me,)
10 and all things which mine eyes desired, I denied not to them; neither I refrained mine heart, that not it used all lust, and delighted itself in these things which I had made ready; and I deemed this my part, if I used my travail. (and anything which my eyes desired, I did not deny them; nor did I refrain my heart from anything it desired, and it delighted itself in those things which I had prepared for it; and I judged this my portion, for all my labour.)
11 And when I had turned me to all the works which mine hands had made, and to the travails in which I had sweated (over) in vain, I saw in all things vanity and torment of soul, and that nothing under [the] sun dwelleth . (And when I turned and looked upon all the works which my hands had made, and upon the labour which I had sweated over, I saw that everything was empty and futile, like chasing the wind, and that nothing remained stable, or unchanging, under the sun.)
12 I passed forth to behold wisdom, and errors, and folly; I said, What is a man, that he may follow the king, his maker? (I said, What new thing can even he who followeth the king do?)
13 And I saw, that wisdom went so much before folly, as much as light is diverse from darknesses.
14 The eyes of a wise man be in his head, (and) a fool goeth in darknesses; and I learned, that one perishing was of ever either. (The eyes of a wise person be in his head, and a fool goeth in the darkness; but I learned, that the same perishing, or the same death, would come to both of them.)
15 And I said in mine heart, If one death shall be both of the fool and of me, what profiteth it to me, that I gave more busyness to wisdom? And I spake with my soul, and perceived, that this also was vanity. (And I said in my heart, If one death shall be for both the fool and for me, what profiteth it to me, that I gave more busyness, or more effort and study, to wisdom? And I spoke with myself, and understood, that this was also empty and futile.)
16 For the mind of a wise man shall not be, (and) in like manner as neither (that) of a fool, without end, and [the] times to coming shall cover all things (al)together with forgetting; a learned man dieth in like manner as an unlearned man. (For a wise person shall not be remembered, and in like manner neither shall a fool, yea, for ever, and the times to come shall altogether cover all things with forgetting; for a learned person dieth in the same manner as an unlearned person.)
17 And therefore it annoyed me of my life, seeing that all things under [the] sun be evil, and that all things be vanity and torment of the spirit. (And so it vexed me to live, seeing that all things under the sun be troublesome, and that everything is empty and futile, like chasing the wind.)
18 Again I cursed all my busyness, by which I travailed most studiously under [the] sun; and I shall have an heir after me,
19 whom I know not, whether he shall be wise either a fool; and he shall be lord in my travails, for which I sweated greatly, and was busy; and is there anything so vain? (whom I know not, whether he shall be wise or a fool; but he shall be the lord of all my works, for which I was so busy, and greatly sweated over; is there anything so empty and futile as this?)
20 Wherefore I ceased, and mine heart forsook for to travail further under [the] sun. (And so I ceased to study, and my heart did not desire to labour any more under the sun.)
21 For why when another man travaileth in wisdom, and teaching, and busyness, he leaveth things gotten to an idle man; and therefore this is vanity, and great evil. (For though a person laboureth over something with wisdom, and knowledge, and diligence, he must leave all that he hath gotten to someone else, who did not labour over it; and so this is empty and futile, and a great evil.)
22 For why what shall it profit to a man of all his travail, and torment of spirit, with which he was tormented under [the] sun? (For what shall it profit a person for all his labour, and trials and tribulations, with which he was tormented under the sun?)
23 All his days be full of sorrows and mischiefs, and by night he resteth not in soul; and whether this is not vanity? (All his days be full of sorrows and mischiefs, and at night his soul resteth not; and is not this all empty and futile?)
24 Whether it is not better to eat and drink, and to show to his soul [the] goods of his travails? and this thing is of the hand of God. (Is it not better for a person to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good things from all his labour? and this is also from the hand of God.)
25 Who shall devour so, and shall flow in (such) delights, as I have? (Who shall ever devour such food, and shall flow in, or shall enjoy, such delights, as I have?)
26 God gave wisdom, and knowing, and gladness to a good man in his sight; but he gave torment, and superfluous busyness to a sinner, that he increase, and gather together, and give to him that pleaseth God; but also this is vanity, and vain busyness of soul. (God gave wisdom, and knowledge, and happiness to those who be good before him; but he gave torment, and superfluous busyness to the sinner, so that first he increase, and gather together, but then he must give it all to him who pleaseth God; but this is also empty and futile, like chasing the wind.)
Ecclesiastes 2 New International Version (NIV)
Pleasures Are Meaningless
2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless
12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
15 Then I said to myself,
“The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
Toil Is Meaningless
17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.