1 Said, I, in my heart, Come now! I will prove thee with gladness, and look thou on blessedness, - but lo! even that, was vanity. 2 Of laughter, I said, Madness! and, of mirth, What can it do? 3 I sought out with my heart, to cherish with wine, my flesh, - but, my heart, was to guide with wisdom, even in laying hold of folly, until I should see which was blessedness for the sons of men, as to that which they could do, under the heavens, during the number of the days of their life.
4 I enlarged my works, - I built me houses, I planted me vineyards; 5 I made me gardens, and parks, - I planted in them trees of every kind of fruit; 6 I made me pools of water, - to irrigate therefrom the thick-set saplings growing up into trees: 7 I acquired, men-servants and women-servants, and, the children of the household, were mine, - also possessions, herds and flocks in abundance, were mine, beyond all who had been before me in Jerusalem; 8 I heaped me up, both silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings, and provinces, - I provided me singing-men and singing-women, and the delights of the sons of men, a wife and wives. 9 So I became great, and increased, more than any one who had been before me in Jerusalem, - moreover, my wisdom, remained with me; 10 and, nothing that mine eyes asked, withheld I from them, - I did not keep back my heart from any gladness, for, my heart, obtained gladness out of all my toil, and so, this, was my portion, out of all my toil. 11 When, I, looked upon all my works, which my hands had made, and on my toil, whereon I had toilsomely wrought, then lo! all, was vanity, and feeding on wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
12 Thus turned, I, to look at wisdom, and madness and folly, - for what can the man do more who cometh after the king? save that which, already, men have done. 13 Then saw, I, that wisdom doth excel folly, - as far as light excelleth darkness.
14 As for the wise man, his eyes, are in his head, whereas, the dullard, in darkness, doth walk, - but, I myself, knew that, one destiny, happeneth to them, all. 15 Then said, I, in my heart, As it happeneth to the dullard, even to me, will it happen, but wherefore, then, became, I, wise to excess? Therefore spake I, in my heart, Even this, is vanity. 16 For there is no remembrance of a wise man, more than of a dullard, unto times age-abiding, - seeing that, already, in the days to come, all hath been forgotten, how then cometh it that the wise man dieth equally with the dullard? 17 Therefore I hated life, for, a vexation unto me, was the work which was done under the sun, - for, all, was vanity, and a feeding on wind.
18 Therefore hated, I, all my toil, wherein I was toiling, under the sun, - in that I should leave it for the man who should come after me; 19 and who could know whether a, wise man, he would be or a foolish, and yet he would lord it over all my toil, wherein I had toiled and wherein I had acted wisely, under the sun, - even this, was vanity. 20 Then resolved I, to give my heart over to despair, - concerning all the toil, wherein I had toiled, under the sun. 21 For here is a man, whose toil hath been with wisdom and with knowledge and with skill, - yet, to a man who hath not toiled therein, shall he leave it as his portion, even this, was vanity and a great vexation. 22 For what hath the man for all his toil, and for the striving of his heart, - wherein, he himself, toiled under the sun? 23 For, all his days, are pains, and, vexatious, is his employment, even in the night, his heart lieth not down, - even this, was, vanity.
24 There was nothing more blessed for Man than that he should eat and drink, and see his desireth for blessedness in his toil, - even this, saw, I myself, that, from the hand of God, it was. 25 For who could eat and who could enjoy, so well as I? 26 For, to a man who is good before him, hath he given wisdom and knowledge and gladness, - whereas, to the sinner, he hath given employment, to gather and heap up, to give to one who is good before God, even this, was vanity, and a feeding on wind.