Ecclesiastes 2:1-16View Full Chapter
Pleasures Are Meaningless 1I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2“Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?”
3I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—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.
4I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
5I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
7I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.
8I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem
9I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10I 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.
11Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless 12Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king’s successor do than what has already been done?
13I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
14The wise have eyes in their heads, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.
15Then I said to myself, “The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?” I said to myself, “This too is meaningless.”
16For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die!