Ecclesiastes 2

The Futility of Pleasure and Possessions

I said
Lit in my heart
to myself, “Come now, I will test you with b pleasure. So
Lit consider with goodness
enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility.
d I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my
Lit heart
mind how to f stimulate my body with wine while my
Lit heart
mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of h folly, until I could see i what good there is for the sons of men
Lit which they do
to do under heaven the few
Lit days
years of their lives.
I enlarged my works: I l built houses for myself, I planted m vineyards for myself; I made n gardens and o parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made p ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had
Lit sons of the house
,
r homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and s herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.
Also, I collected for myself silver and t gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself u male and female singers and the pleasures of menmany concubines.

Then I became v great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10  w 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 x reward for all my labor. 11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had
Lit labored to do
exerted, and behold all was
Or futility, and so throughout the ch
,
aa vanity and striving after wind and there was ab no profit under the sun.

Wisdom Excels Folly

12 So I turned to ac consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except ad what has already been done? 13 And I saw that ae wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the af fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that ag one fate befalls them both. 15 Then I said
Lit in my heart
to myself ai As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. aj Why then have I been extremely wise?” So
Lit I spoke in my heart
I said to myself, “This too is vanity.”
16 For there is al no
Lit forever
lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And an how the wise man and the fool alike die!
17 So I ao hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was
Lit evil
grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

The Futility of Labor

18 Thus I hated aq all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must ar leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or as a fool? Yet he will have
Lit dominion
control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is au vanity.
20 Therefore I
Lit turned aside my heart to despair
completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.
21 When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and aw skill, then he ax gives his
Lit share
legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil.
22 For what does a man get in az all his labor and in
Lit the striving of his heart
his striving with which he labors under the sun?
23 Because all his days his task is painful and bb grievous; even at night his
Lit heart
mind bd does not rest. This too is vanity.

24 There is be nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and
Lit cause his soul to see good in his labor
tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is bg from the hand of God.
25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without
So Gr; Heb me
Him?
26 For to a person who is good in His sight bi 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 bj give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is bk vanity and striving after wind.
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