Qohelet's Investigation Of Self-Indulgence

1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also was vanity.

1 I said (a)to myself, “Come now, I will test you with (A)pleasure. So (b)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 said to myself, “Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure;(A) enjoy what is good.” But it turned out to be futile.

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 (B)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 I said about laughter,(B) “It is madness,” and about pleasure, “What does this accomplish?”

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

The Spokesman Studies Wine

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 their life.

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.

Qohelet's Investigation Of Personal Accomplishment

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

4 I enlarged my works: I (F)built houses for myself, I planted (G)vineyards for myself;

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

4 I increased my achievements. I built houses(F) and planted vineyards(G) for myself.

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

5 I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit;

5 I made (H)gardens and (I)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 made gardens(H) and parks for myself and planted every kind of fruit tree in them.

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

6 I made me pools of water, to water therefrom the forest where trees were reared;

6 I made (J)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 constructed reservoirs of water for myself from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees.(I)

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

7 I bought men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem;

7 I bought male and female slaves and I had (g)(K)homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and (L)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 servants and had slaves who were born in my house.(J) I also owned many herds of cattle and flocks, more than all who were before me in Jerusalem.(K)

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.

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

8 Also, I collected for myself silver and (M)gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself (N)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 amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.(L) I gathered male and female singers for myself,(M) and many concubines, the delights of men.(c)(d)

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 Then I became (O)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 and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem;(N) my wisdom also 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.

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

10 (P)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 (Q)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 All that my eyes desired, I did not deny them.(O) I did not refuse myself any pleasure, for I took pleasure in all my struggles. This was my reward for all my struggles.(P)

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.

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.

11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had (h)exerted, and behold all was (i)(R)vanity and striving after wind and there was (S)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 When I considered all that I had accomplished(e) and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind.(Q) There was nothing to be gained under the sun.(R)

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.

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

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 done long ago.

12 So I turned to (T)consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except (U)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 Then I turned to consider wisdom,(S) madness, and folly, for what will the man be like who comes after the king? He(f) will do what has already been done.(T)

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?

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

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

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

13 And I realized that there is an advantage to wisdom over folly, like the advantage of light over darkness.(U)

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

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

14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the (W)fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that (X)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 man has eyes in his head,but the fool walks in darkness.(V)Yet I also knew that one fate comes to them both.(W)

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 will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then said I in my heart, that this also is vanity.

15 Then I said (j)to myself, “(Y)As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. (Z)Why then have I been extremely wise?” So (k)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 So I said to myself, “What happens to the fool will also happen to me. Why then have I been overly wise?”(X) And I said to myself that this is also futile.

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.

Without God Everything Is Pointless

16 For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance for ever; seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. And how doth the wise man die even as the fool!

16 For there is (AA)no (l)lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And (AB)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, just like the fool, there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man,(Y) since in the days to come both will be forgotten. How is it that the wise man dies just like 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?

Is There Real Happiness In Life?

17 So I hated life, because the work that is wrought under the sun was grievous unto me; for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

17 So I (AC)hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was (m)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 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.

The Emptiness Of Work

18 And I hated all my labor wherein I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

18 Thus I hated (AD)all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must (AE)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 I hated all my work that I labored at under the sun(Z) because I must leave it to the man who comes after me.(AA)

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 knoweth whether he will be a wise man or a fool? yet will he have rule over all my labor wherein I have labored, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.

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 a wise man or a fool?(AB) Yet he will take over all my work that I labored at skillfully under the sun. This too is futile.

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.

20 Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor wherein I had labored under the sun.

20 Therefore I (o)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 began to give myself over(g) to despair concerning all my work that I had labored at under the sun.

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

21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skilfulness; yet to a man that hath not labored therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

21 When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and (AH)skill, then he (AI)gives his (p)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 When there is a man whose work was done with wisdom, knowledge, and skill,(AC) and he must give his portion to a man who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great wrong.

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.

22 For what hath a man of all his labor, and of the striving of his heart, wherein he laboreth under the sun?

22 For what does a man get in (AJ)all his labor and in (q)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 man get with all his work and all his efforts(AD) that he labors at 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?

23 For all his days are but'sorrows, and his travail is grief; yea, even in the night his heart taketh no rest. This also is vanity.

23 Because all his days his task is painful and (AK)grievous; even at night his (r)mind (AL)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 For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful;(AE) even at night, his mind does not rest.(AF) This too is futile.

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!

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 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.

24 There is (AM)nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and (s)tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is (AN)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 There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy(h)(i) his work.(AG) I have seen that even this is from God’s hand,(AH)

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,

25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?

25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without (t)Him?

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

25 because who can eat and who can enjoy life(j) apart from Him?(k)

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

26 For to the man that pleaseth him God giveth 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 pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.

International Standard Version Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation.

New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org