The Futility of Pleasure and Possessions

I said [a]to myself, “Come now, I will test you with (A)pleasure. So [b]enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. (B)I said of laughter, “It is senseless,” and of pleasure, “What does this accomplish?” I explored with my [c]mind how to (C)refresh my body with wine while my [d]mind was guiding me wisely; and how to seize (D)foolishness, until I could see (E)what good there is for the sons of mankind [e]to do under heaven for the few [f]years of their lives. I enlarged my works: I (F)built houses for myself, I planted (G)vineyards for myself; I made (H)gardens and (I)parks for myself, and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made (J)ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and I had [g](K)slaves born at home. I also possessed flocks and (L)herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. I also amassed for myself silver and (M)gold, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself (N)male and female singers, and the pleasures of the sons of mankind: many concubines.

Then I became (O)great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 (P)All that my eyes desired, I did not refuse them. I did not restrain my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor; and this was my (Q)reward for all my labor. 11 So I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had [h]exerted, and behold, all was (R)futility and striving after wind, and there was (S)no benefit under the sun.

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Ecclesiastes 2:1 Lit in my heart
  2. Ecclesiastes 2:1 Lit consider with goodness
  3. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit heart
  4. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit heart
  5. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit which they do
  6. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit days
  7. Ecclesiastes 2:7 Lit sons
  8. Ecclesiastes 2:11 Lit labored to do