Declare his glory(A) among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds(B) among all peoples.

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Pleasures Are Meaningless

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. “Laughter,”(B) I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 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.

I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself(E) and planted vineyards.(F) I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 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. 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. 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)

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Footnotes

  1. Ecclesiastes 2:8 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.