New International Version
Pleasures Are Meaningless
2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure(A) to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,”(B) I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine,(C) and embracing folly(D)—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(E) and planted vineyards.(F) 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(G) 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(H) for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.(I) I acquired male and female singers,(J) and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem(K) before me.(L) In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;(M)
nothing was gained under the sun.(N)
Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless
12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
and also madness and folly.(O)
What more can the king’s successor do
than what has already been done?(P)
13 I saw that wisdom(Q) is better than folly,(R)
just as light is better than darkness.
14 The wise have eyes in their heads,
while the fool walks in the darkness;
but I came to realize
that the same fate overtakes them both.(S)
15 Then I said to myself,
“The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
What then do I gain by being wise?”(T)
I said to myself,
“This too is meaningless.”
16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;(U)
the days have already come when both have been forgotten.(V)
Like the fool, the wise too must die!(W)
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.(X) 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.(Y) 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish?(Z) 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?(AA) 23 All their days their work is grief and pain;(AB) even at night their minds do not rest.(AC) This too is meaningless.
24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink(AD) and find satisfaction in their own toil.(AE) This too, I see, is from the hand of God,(AF) 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?(AG) 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom,(AH) knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth(AI) to hand it over to the one who pleases God.(AJ) This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
- Ecclesiastes 2:8 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
New International Version
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”(A)
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”(E)
New International Version
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.(A) 20 At his gate was laid a beggar(B) named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.(C) Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham,(D) have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’(E)
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things,(F) but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.(G) 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them,(H) so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’(K) he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”