1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore consider and behold goodness; this also is vanity. 2 I said of laughter, It is madness; and of mirth, What does it do? 3 I sought in my heart to drag my flesh with wine, yet leading my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, until I might see where the good for the sons of men might be, what they should do under the heavens all the days of their life.
4 I made my works great; I built houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made gardens and orchards for myself, And I planted trees in them, of all fruit. 6 I made pools of water for myself, to water the forest shooting forth trees. 7 I bought slaves and slave women, and sons of the house were mine; also livestock, a herd and a great flock were mine, above all that were before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered silver and gold to myself, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got men singers and women singers for myself, and the delights of the sons of men, a wife and very many wives. 9 I was great and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them; I did not withhold my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my part of all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit; and there is no profit under the sun.
12 And I turned to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly; for what can the man do who comes after the king, when they have already done it? 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 also knew that one event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise? And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For there is no memory of the wise more than of the fool forever, since that which is now shall all be forgotten in the days to come. And how does the wise die above the fool! 17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is done under the sun is sad to me; for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
18 Yes, I hated all my labor which I had done under the sun; that I must leave it to the man who shall be after me. 19 And who knows whether he shall be wise or a fool? Yet he shall have rule over all my labor in which I have labored, and acted wisely under the sun. This is also vanity. 20 And I turned to cause my heart to despair over all the labor which I did under the sun. 21 When there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and with success; yet to a man who has not labored in it, he shall leave it for his share. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 For what has man from all his labor, and from the troubling of his heart, in which he has labored under the sun? 23 For all his days are sorrows, and his labor sadness; yea, his heart does not take rest in the night. This is also vanity.
24 Is it not good that he should eat and drink and make his soul see good in his labor? This I also saw, that it was from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat, or who can enjoy, apart from me? 26 For God gives wisdom, and knowledge, and joy to a man who is good in His sight. But to the sinner He gives labor, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.