Ecclesiastes 2
A Faithful Version

1I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." and, behold, this also is vanity. 2I said of laughter, "It is madness;" and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?" 3I sought in my heart to give myself unto wine, yet conducting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, until I might see what was good for the sons of men, what they should do under the heaven the few days of their life. 4I made great works for myself; I built houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself. 5I made gardens and orchards for myself, and I planted trees in them, of all fruit. 6I made pools of water for myself, to irrigate groves of growing trees. 7I bought men slaves and women slaves, and servants were born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem. 8I 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, even the sensual delights of the sons of men, and many women.

9So I was great and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom remained with me. 10And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them; I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my portion of all my labor. 11Then 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 a striving after the wind; and there is no profit under the sun.

12And I turned to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly; for what can the man do who comes after the king? Only that which has already been done. 13Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness. 14The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness; and I myself also perceived that one event happens to all of them. 15Then 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. 16For 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? Even as the fool! 17Therefore I hated life; because the work that is done under the sun is grievous to me; for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

18Yea, I hated all my labor which I had done under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who shall be after me. 19And 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 have shown myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. 20And I turned to cause my heart to despair of all the labor which I had done under the sun. 21For there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and with skill; yet to a man who has not labored in it, he shall leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22For what has man from all his labor, and from the striving of his heart, in which he has labored under the sun? 23For all his days are sorrows, and his labor vexation; yea, so his heart does not take rest in the night. This is also vanity.

24There is nothing better for a man than 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. 25For who can eat, or who can enjoy it, more than I? 26For 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 a striving after wind.

A Faithful Version

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