Ecclesiastes 2



Qohelet's Investigation Of Self-Indulgence

1 I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself." And behold, it too was futility.

1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.

1 I told myself, "I will test you with pleasure, so enjoy yourself." But this was pointless.

1 I said in my mind, Come now, I will prove you with mirth and test you with pleasure; so have a good time [enjoy pleasure]. But this also was vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!

2 I said of laughter, "It is madness," and of pleasure, "What does it accomplish?"

2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?

2 "Senseless," said I concerning laughter and pleasure, "How practical is this?"

2 I said of laughter, It is mad, and of pleasure, What does it accomplish?

The Spokesman Studies Wine

3 I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

3 I decided to indulge in wine, while still remaining committed to wisdom. I also tried to indulge in foolishness, just enough to determine whether it was good for human beings under heaven given the short time of their lives.

3 I searched in my mind how to cheer my body with wine -- "yet at the same time having my mind hold its course and guide me with [human] wisdom -- "and how to lay hold of folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.

Qohelet's Investigation Of Personal Accomplishment

4 I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself;

4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:

4 With respect to my extravagant works, I built houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself.

4 I made great works; I built myself houses, I planted vineyards.

5 I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees;

5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:

5 I constructed gardens and orchards for myself, and within them I planted all kinds of fruit trees.

5 I made for myself gardens and orchards and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees.

6 I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees.

6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:

6 I built for myself water reservoirs to irrigate forests that produce trees.

6 I made for myself pools of water from which to water the forest and make the trees bud.

7 I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.

7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:

7 I acquired male and female slaves, and had other slaves born in my house. I also acquired for myself increasing numbers of herds and flocks more than anyone who had lived before me in Jerusalem.

7 I bought menservants and maidservants and had servants born in my house. Also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem.

8 Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men--many concubines.

8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

8 I also accumulated silver, gold, and the wealth of kings and their kingdoms. I gathered around me both male and female singers, along with what delights a man all sorts of mistresses.

8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got for myself men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men -- " concubines very many.

9 Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me.

9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.

9 So I became great, greater than anyone who had lived before me in Jerusalem. Throughout all of this, I remained wise.

9 So I became great and increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me and stood by me.

10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.

10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

10 Whenever I wanted something I had seen, I never refused that desire. Instead, I enjoyed everything I did, and this became the reward in what I had undertaken.

10 And whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my portion and reward for all my toil.

11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

11 Then I examined all of my accomplishments that I had brought about by my own efforts, including the work that I had labored so hard to complete and it was all pointless, like chasing after the wind, and there was nothing to be gained on earth.

11 Then I looked on all that my hands had done and the labor I had spent in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it, and there was no profit under the sun.

The Living Must Abandon The Work Of Their Hands To Others At Death

12 So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done?

12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

12 Next I turned to examine wisdom, insanity, and foolishness, because what can a person do who succeeds the king except what has already been accomplished?

12 So I turned to consider [human] wisdom and madness and folly; for what can the man do who succeeds the king? Nothing but what has been done already.

13 And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.

13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

13 I concluded that wisdom is more useful than foolishness, just as light is more useful than darkness.

13 Then I saw that even [human] wisdom [that brings sorrow] is better than [the pleasures of] folly as far as light is better than darkness.

14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness And yet I know that one fate befalls them both.

14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

14 The wise use their eyes, but the fool walks in darkness. I also perceived that the same outcome affects them all.

14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness; and yet I perceived that [in the end] one event happens to them both.

15 Then I said to myself, "As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me Why then have I been extremely wise?" So I said to myself, "This too is vanity."

15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

15 Then I told myself, "Whatever happens to the fool will happen also to me. Therefore what's the point in being so wise?" And I told myself that this also is pointless.

15 Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it will happen even to me. And of what use is it then for me to be more wise? Then I said in my heart, This also is vanity (emptiness, vainglory, and futility)!

Without God Everything Is Pointless

16 For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten And how the wise man and the fool alike die!

16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.

16 For neither the wise nor the fool will be long remembered, since in days to come everything will be forgotten. The wise man dies the same way as the fool, does he not?

16 For of the wise man, the same as of the fool, there is no permanent remembrance, since in the days to come all will be long forgotten. And how does the wise man die? Even as the fool!

Is There Real Happiness In Life?

17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

17 So I hated life, because whatever is done on earth causes me trouble it's all pointless, like chasing after the wind.

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it.

The Emptiness Of Work

18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me.

18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

18 Then I despised everything I had worked for on earth, that is, the things that I will leave to the person who will succeed me.

18 And I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will succeed me.

19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun This too is vanity.

19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

19 And who knows whether he will be wise or foolish? Either way, he will take possession of everything that I have done on earth, especially where I have excelled. This also is pointless.

19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have dominion over all my labor in which I have toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!

20 Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

20 So I came to be in despair about everything I had accomplished on earth.

20 So I turned around and gave my heart up to despair over all the labor of my efforts under the sun.

21 When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil.

21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

21 For sometimes people who strive to obtain wisdom, knowledge, and equity leave everything as an inheritance to a person who never worked for it. This, too, is pointless and greatly troublesome.

21 For here is a man whose labor is with wisdom and knowledge and skill; yet to a man who has not toiled for it he must leave it all as his portion. This also is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility) and a great evil!

22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun?

22 For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?

22 For what does a person gain from everything that he accomplishes and from his inner life struggles that he undergoes while working on earth?

22 For what has a man left from all his labor and from the striving and vexation of his heart in which he has toiled under the sun?

23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

23 Indeed, all of his days are filled with sorrow, and his struggles bring grief. In fact, his mind remains restless throughout the night. This is pointless, too!

23 For all his days are but pain and sorrow, and his work is a vexation and grief; his mind takes no rest even at night. This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!

It Is Best To Simply Enjoy The Passing Pleasures Of Life As Reward For Pleasing God

24 There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.

24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

24 The only worthwhile thing for a human being is to eat, drink, and enjoy life's goodness that he finds in what he accomplishes. This, I observed, is also from the hand of God himself,

24 There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and make himself enjoy good in his labor. Even this, I have seen, is from the hand of God.

25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?

25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?

25 for who can eat or enjoy life apart from him?

25 For who can eat or who can have enjoyment any more than I can -- " apart from Him?

26 For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight This too is vanity and striving after wind.

26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

26 After all, to the person who is good in God's sight, he gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner he gives the troublesome task of acquiring and accumulating in order to leave it to someone who is good in the sight of God. This also is pointless and chasing after the wind.

26 For to the person who pleases Him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and heaping up, that he may give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it.



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