The Emptiness of Pleasure

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

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Footnotes

  1. 2:3 Two Hb mss, LXX, Syr read the sun

10 All that my eyes desired, I did not deny them.(A) I did not refuse myself any pleasure, for I took pleasure in all my struggles. This was my reward for all my struggles.(B) 11 When I considered all that I had accomplished[a] and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind.[b](C) There was nothing to be gained under the sun.(D)

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Footnotes

  1. 2:11 Lit all my works that my hands had done
  2. 2:11 Or a feeding on wind, or an affliction of spirit; also in vv. 17,26

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