Ecclesiastes 2:12-26New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Wisdom Excels Folly
12 So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king exceptwhat has already been done?13 And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both.15 Then I said [a]to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So [b]I said to myself, “This too is vanity.”16 For there is no [c]lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was [d]grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.
The Futility of Labor
18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me.19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have [e]control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity.20 Therefore I [f]completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.21 When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his [g]legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil.22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in [h]his striving with which he labors under the sun?23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his [i]mind does not rest. This too is vanity.
24 There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and [j]tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without [k]Him?26 For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.
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 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 of $3.99/month, 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.