Ecclesiastes 2:1-11New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Pleasure Is Meaningless
2 I said to myself, “Come on. I’ll try out pleasure. I want to find out if it is good.” But it also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter doesn’t make any sense,” I said. “And what can pleasure do for me?” 3 I tried cheering myself up by drinking wine. I even tried living in a foolish way. But wisdom was still guiding my mind. I wanted to see what was good for people to do on earth during their short lives.
4 So I started some large projects. I built houses for myself. I planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks. I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made lakes to water groves of healthy trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves. And I had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem ever had before. 8 I stored up silver and gold for myself. I gathered up the treasures of kings and their kingdoms. I got some male and female singers. I also got many women for myself. Women delight the hearts of men. 9 I became far more important than anyone in Jerusalem had ever been before. And in spite of everything, I didn’t lose my wisdom.
10 I gave myself everything my eyes wanted. There wasn’t any pleasure that I refused to give myself. I took delight in everything I did. And that was what I got for all my work. 11 But then I looked over everything my hands had done. I saw what I had worked so hard to get. And nothing had any meaning. It was like chasing the wind. Nothing was gained on this earth.
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