1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure. And, behold, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter, It is mad, and of mirth, What does it do? 3 I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine (my heart yet guiding [me] with wisdom), and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of th
4 I made for me great works. I built for me houses. I planted for me vineyards. 5 I made for me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit. 6 I made for me pools of water, to water from there the forest where trees were reared. 7 I bought men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house. I also had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all who were before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for me silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got for me men-singers and women-singers, and the luxuries of the sons of men, [and] a wife and wives. 9 So I was great, and increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them. I did not withhold my heart from any joy. For my heart rejoiced because of all my labor, and this was my portion from all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do, and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom and madness and folly. For what [can] the man [do] who comes after the king? [Even] that which has been done long ago. 13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly as far as light excels darkness.
14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, and the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that one event happens to them all. 15 Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it will happen even to me, and why then was I more wise? Then said I in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance forever, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. And how the wise man dies even as the fool! 17 So I hated life, because the work that is wrought under the sun was grievous to me. For all is vanity and a striving after wind.
18 And I hated all my labor in which I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who shall be after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have rule over all my labor in which I have labored, and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor in which I had labored under the sun. 21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skillfulness, yet he shall leave it to a man who has not labored in it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 For what has a man of all his labor, and of the striving of his heart in which he labors under the sun? 23 For all his days are [but] sorrows, and his travail is grief, yea, even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
24 There is nothing better for a man [than] that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, without him? 26 For to the man who pleases him [God] gives wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.