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.
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 madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”
3 I explored with my (c)mind how to (C)stimulate my body with wine while my (d)mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of (D)folly, until I could see (E)what good there is for the sons of men (e)to do under heaven the few (f)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 explored with my mind how to let my body enjoy life(a) with wine(C) and how to grasp folly(D)—my mind still guiding me with wisdom—until I could see what is good for people to do under heaven(b) during the few days of their lives.(E)
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 explored with my mind how to gratify myself with wine while [at the same time] having my mind remain steady and guide me wisely; and how to take control of foolishness, until I could see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.
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 houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself;
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 gardens and orchards for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit 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 pools of water for myself from which to water the forest and make the trees bud.
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 male and female slaves and had slaves born in my house. I also possessed herds and flocks larger than any who preceded me in Jerusalem.
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.
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 excelled more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also remained with me.
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 Whatever my eyes looked at with desire I did not refuse them. I did not withhold from my heart any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor; and this was my reward for all my labor.
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.
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 [secular] wisdom, madness, and folly; for what will the man do who succeeds the king? Nothing except what has already been done.
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 secular] wisdom [that brings sorrow] is better than [the pleasures of] folly and self-indulgence as light excels darkness.
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.
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 I said to myself, “As it happens to the fool, so death will also happen to me. What use is it then for me to be extremely wise?” Then I said in my heart, “This too is vanity (meaningless).”
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 there is no [more] lasting remembrance of the wise man than of the fool, since in the days to come all will be long forgotten. And how does the wise man die? Even as the fool!
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 Therefore, I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
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, for the work which had been done under the sun caused me only great sorrow; because all is futility and chasing after the wind.
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.
19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or (AF)a fool? Yet he will have (n)control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is (AG)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 control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity (futility, self-conceit).
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 aside and let my heart despair over all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.
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 there is a man who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, yet gives his legacy to one who has not labored for it. This too is vanity and a great evil.
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 does a man get from all his labor and from the striving and sorrow of his heart with which he labors under the sun?
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 his work is painful and sorrowful; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity (worthless).
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 to eat and drink and assure himself that there is good in his labor. Even this, I have seen, is from the hand of God.
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 and who can have enjoyment without Him?
26 For to a person who is good in His sight (AO)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 (AP)give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is (AQ)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 For to the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy,(AI) but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God’s sight.(AJ) This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.(AK)
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, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who pleases God. This too is vanity and chasing after the wind.
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