Ecclesiastes 2:1-11Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
The Emptiness of Pleasure
2 I said to myself, “Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good.” But it turned out to be futile. 2 I said about laughter, “It is madness,” and about pleasure, “What does this accomplish?” 3 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
4 I increased my achievements. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made gardens and parks for myself and planted every kind of fruit tree in them. 6 I constructed reservoirs of water for myself from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees. 7 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. 8 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] 9 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. 11 When I considered all that I had accomplished[e] and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.