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Ecclesiastes 2:1-10Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Emptiness of Pleasure

I said to myself, “Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good.” But it turned out to be futile. I said about laughter, “It is madness,” and about pleasure, “What does this accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to let my body enjoy life[a] with wine and how to grasp folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom—until I could see what is good for people to do under heaven[b] during the few days of their lives.

The Emptiness of Possessions

I increased my achievements. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made gardens and parks for myself and planted every kind of fruit tree in them. I constructed reservoirs of water for myself from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees. I acquired male and female servants and had slaves who were born in my house. I also owned many herds of cattle and flocks, more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. I also amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I gathered male and female singers for myself, and many concubines, the delights of men.[c][d] So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem; my wisdom also remained with me. 10 All that my eyes desired, I did not deny them. I did not refuse myself any pleasure, for I took pleasure in all my struggles. This was my reward for all my struggles.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit to pull my body
  2. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Two Hb mss, LXX, Syr read the sun
  3. Ecclesiastes 2:8 LXX, Theod, Syr read and male cupbearers and female cupbearers; Aq, Tg, Vg read a cup and cups; Hb obscure
  4. Ecclesiastes 2:8 Or many treasures that people delight in

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