Ecclesiastes 2:1-26

2  I said, even I, in my heart:+ “Do come now, let me try you out with rejoicing.+ Also, see good.”+ And, look! that too was vanity.  I said to laughter: “Insanity!”+ and to rejoicing:+ “What is this doing?”  I explored with my heart by cheering my flesh even with wine,+ while I was leading my heart with wisdom,+ even to lay hold on folly until I could see what good there was to the sons of mankind in what they did under the heavens for the number of the days of their life.+  I engaged in greater works.+ I built houses for myself;+ I planted vineyards for myself.+  I made gardens and parks* for myself,+ and I planted in them fruit trees of all sorts.  I made pools of water for myself,+ to irrigate with them the forest, springing up with trees.+  I acquired menservants and maidservants,+ and I came to have sons of the household.+ Also, livestock, cattle and flocks in great quantity I came to have, more so than all those who happened to be before me in Jerusalem.+  I accumulated also silver and gold for myself,+ and property peculiar to kings and the jurisdictional districts.+ I made male singers and female singers+ for myself and the exquisite delights+ of the sons of mankind, a lady, even ladies.+  And I became greater and increased more than anyone that happened to be before me in Jerusalem.+ Moreover, my own wisdom remained mine.+ 10  And anything that my eyes asked for I did not keep away from them.+ I did not hold back my heart from any sort of rejoicing, for my heart was joyful because of all my hard work,+ and this came to be my portion from all my hard work.+ 11  And I, even I, turned toward all the works of mine that my hands had done and toward the hard work that I had worked hard to accomplish,+ and, look! everything was vanity and a striving after wind,+ and there was nothing of advantage under the sun.+ 12  And I, even I, turned to see wisdom+ and madness and folly;+ for what can the earthling man do who comes in after the king? The thing that people have already done. 13  And I saw, even I, that there exists more advantage for wisdom than for folly,+ just as there is more advantage for light than for darkness.+ 14  As regards anyone wise, his eyes are in his head;+ but the stupid one is walking on in sheer darkness.+ And I have come to know, I too, that there is one eventuality that eventuates to them all.+ 15  And I myself said in my heart:+ “An eventuality like that upon the stupid one+ will eventuate to me, yes, me.”+ Why, then, had I become wise, I overmuch so+ at that time? And I spoke in my heart: “This too is vanity.” 16  For there is no more remembrance of the wise one than of the stupid one to time indefinite.+ In the days that are already coming in, everyone is certainly forgotten; and how will the wise one die? Along with the stupid one.+ 17  And I hated life,+ because the work that has been done under the sun was calamitous from my standpoint,+ for everything was vanity and a striving after wind.+ 18  And I, even I, hated all my hard work at which I was working hard under the sun,+ that I would leave behind for the man who would come to be after me.+ 19  And who is there knowing whether he will prove to be wise or foolish?+ Yet he will take control over all my hard work at which I worked hard and at which I showed wisdom under the sun.+ This too is vanity. 20  And I myself turned around toward making my heart despair+ over all the hard work at which I had worked hard under the sun. 21  For there exists the man whose hard work has been with wisdom and with knowledge and with proficiency,+ but to a man that has not worked hard at such a thing will be given the portion of that one.+ This too is vanity and a big calamity.+ 22  For what does a man come to have* for all his hard work and for the striving of his heart with which he is working hard under the sun?+ 23  For all his days his occupation means pains and vexation,+ also during the night his heart just does not lie down.+ This too is mere vanity. 24  With a man there is nothing better [than] that he should eat and indeed drink and cause his soul to see good because of his hard work.+ This too I have seen, even I, that this is from the hand of the [true] God.*+ 25  For who eats+ and who drinks* better than I do?+ 26  For to the man that is good before him+ he has given wisdom and knowledge and rejoicing,+ but to the sinner he has given the occupation of gathering and bringing together merely to give to the one that is good before the [true] God.+ This too is vanity and a striving after wind.+


“And parks.” Heb., u·phar·de·simʹ, pl. of par·desʹ; LXXSy, “parks; paradises.”
Lit., “what is there proving to be for the man?” Heb., meh-ho·wehʹ la·ʼa·dhamʹ? The participle ho·wehʹ is from the root verb ha·wahʹ, related to the divine name, Yeho·wahʹ.
“The [true] God.” Heb., ha·ʼElo·himʹ, with ha, “the,” for emphasis; TSy, “Jehovah.” See App 1F.
“Drinks,” LXXBagsterSy; M, “hastens.”