The Vanity of Pleasure(A)

I said (B)in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with (C)mirth; [a]therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, (D)this also was vanity. I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” (E)I searched in my heart how [b]to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was (F)good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.

I made my works great, I built myself (G)houses, and planted myself vineyards. I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made myself water pools from which to [c]water the growing trees of the grove. I acquired male and female servants, and had [d]servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. (H)I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and [e]musical instruments of all kinds.

(I)So I became great and [f]excelled (J)more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.

10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.
I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure,
For my heart rejoiced in all my labor;
And (K)this was my [g]reward from all my labor.
11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done
And on the labor in which I had toiled;
And indeed all was (L)vanity and grasping for the wind.
There was no profit under the sun.

The End of the Wise and the Fool

12 Then I turned myself to consider wisdom (M)and madness and folly;
For what can the man do who succeeds the king?—
Only what he has already (N)done.

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  1. Ecclesiastes 2:1 gladness
  2. Ecclesiastes 2:3 Lit. to draw my flesh
  3. Ecclesiastes 2:6 irrigate
  4. Ecclesiastes 2:7 Lit. sons of my house
  5. Ecclesiastes 2:8 Exact meaning unknown
  6. Ecclesiastes 2:9 Lit. increased
  7. Ecclesiastes 2:10 Lit. portion

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