1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will test you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. 2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What use is it? 3 I sought in my heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men, which they should do under heaven all the days of their life.
4 I made myself great works; I built houses; I planted vineyards: 5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them with all kind of fruit: 6 I made myself pools of water, with which to water the forest that brings forth trees: 7 I got myself male and female servants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle more than all that were in Jerusalem before me: 8 I gathered for myself also silver and gold, and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces: I got men singers and women singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all sorts. 9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my reward of all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had made, and on the labor that I had expended on it: and, behold, all was vanity and like grasping the wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can a man do that comes after the king? even that which has been already done. 13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness.
14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one fate happens to them all. 15 Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. 16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool forever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how does the wise man die? as the fool. 17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is done under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and like grasping the wind.
18 Yea, I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun: because I must leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 19 And who knows whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labor in which I have labored, and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. 20 Therefore I gave my heart up to despair of all the labor in which I toiled under the sun. 21 For there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that has not labored in it shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart, with which he has labored under the sun? 23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart takes not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
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 labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat, or who else can have enjoyment, more than I? 26 For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping up, only that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping of the wind.