Ecclesiastes 2:3
New International Version
I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.

New Living Translation
After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.

English Standard Version
I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.

Berean Study Bible
My mind, all the while guiding me with wisdom, sought to cheer my body with wine and to embrace folly, until I could see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

New American Standard Bible
I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

New King James Version
I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.

King James Bible
I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

Christian Standard Bible
I explored with my mind the pull of wine on my body--my mind still guiding me with wisdom--and how to grasp folly, until I could see what is good for people to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

Contemporary English Version
I wanted to find out what was best for us during the short time we have on this earth. So I decided to make myself happy with wine and find out what it means to be foolish, without really being foolish myself.

Good News Translation
Driven on by my desire for wisdom, I decided to cheer myself up with wine and have a good time. I thought that this might be the best way people can spend their short lives on earth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I explored with my mind how to let my body enjoy life with wine and how to grasp folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom--until I could see what is good for people to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

International Standard Version
I decided to indulge in wine, while still remaining committed to wisdom. I also tried to indulge in foolishness, just enough to determine whether it was good for human beings under heaven given the short time of their lives.

NET Bible
I thought deeply about the effects of indulging myself with wine (all the while my mind was guiding me with wisdom) and the effects of behaving foolishly, so that I might discover what is profitable for people to do on earth during the few days of their lives.

New Heart English Bible
I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold of folly, until I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their lives.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I explored ways to make myself feel better by drinking wine. I also explored ways to do [some] foolish things. During all that time, wisdom continued to control my mind. I was able to determine whether this was good for mortals to do during their brief lives under heaven.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I searched in my heart how to pamper my flesh with wine, and, my heart conducting itself with wisdom, how yet to lay hold on folly, till I might see which it was best for the sons of men that they should do under the heaven the few days of their life.

New American Standard 1977
I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I proposed in my heart to regale my flesh with wine and that my heart would walk in wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, until I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

King James 2000 Bible
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.

American King James Version
I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

American Standard Version
I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And I examined whether my heart would excite my flesh as with wine, (though my heart guided me in wisdom,) and I desired to lay hold of mirth, until I should see of what kind is the good to the sons of men, which they should do under the sun all the days of their life.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I thought in my heart, to withdraw my flesh from wine, that I might turn my mind to wisdom, and might avoid folly, till I might see what was profitable for the children of men: and what they ought to do under the sun, all the days of their life.

Darby Bible Translation
I searched in my heart how to cherish my flesh with wine, while practising my heart with wisdom; and how to lay hold on folly, till I should see what was that good for the children of men which they should do under the heavens all the days of their life.

English Revised Version
I searched in mine heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, mine heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

Webster's Bible Translation
I sought in my heart, to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

World English Bible
I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold of folly, until I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their lives.

Young's Literal Translation
I have sought in my heart to draw out with wine my appetite, (and my heart leading in wisdom), and to take hold on folly till that I see where is this -- the good to the sons of man of that which they do under the heavens, the number of the days of their lives.
Study Bible
The Futility of Pleasure
2I said of laughter, “It is folly,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3My mind, all the while guiding me with wisdom, sought to cheer my body with wine and embrace folly, until I could see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. 4I enlarged my works. I built myself houses and planted myself vineyards.…
Cross References
Judges 9:13
But the grapevine replied, 'Should I stop giving my wine that cheers both God and man, to hold sway over the trees?'

Psalm 104:15
wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil that makes his face to shine and bread that sustains his heart.

Ecclesiastes 2:24
Nothing is better for man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work. I have also seen that this is from the hand of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:12
I know that there is nothing better for men than to rejoice and do good while they live,

Ecclesiastes 3:13
and also that every man should eat and drink and find satisfaction in all his labor--this is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 5:18
Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of life that God has given him--for this is his lot.

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knows what is good for a man during the few days he passes through his fleeting life like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will come after him under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 7:25
I directed my mind to understand, to explore, to search out wisdom and explanations, and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the folly of madness.

Ecclesiastes 8:15
So I commended the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be merry. For this joy will accompany him in his labor during the days of his life that God gives him under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 10:19
A feast is prepared for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything.

Ecclesiastes 12:13
When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man.

Treasury of Scripture

I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

sought

Ecclesiastes 1:17
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

1 Samuel 25:36
And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.

Proverbs 20:1
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Proverbs 31:4,5
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: …

Ephesians 5:18
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

and to lay

Ecclesiastes 7:18
It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.

Proverbs 20:1
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Proverbs 23:29-35
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? …

till

Ecclesiastes 6:12
For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 12:13
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

all

Genesis 47:9
And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

Job 14:14
If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

Psalm 90:9-12
For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told







Lexicon
My mind,
בְלִבִּ֔י (ḇə·lib·bî)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 3820: The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, centre

[all the while]
וְלִבִּ֞י (wə·lib·bî)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 3820: The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, centre

guiding
נֹהֵ֤ג (nō·hêḡ)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5090: To drive forth, lead, carry away, to proceed, to sigh

me with wisdom,
בַּֽחָכְמָה֙ (ba·ḥā·ḵə·māh)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2451: Wisdom

sought
תַּ֣רְתִּי (tar·tî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 8446: To meander, about, for, trade, reconnoitring

to cheer my body
בְּשָׂרִ֑י (bə·śā·rî)
Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 1320: Flesh, body, person, the pudenda of a, man

with wine
בַּיַּ֖יִן (bay·ya·yin)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3196: Wine, intoxication

and embrace
וְלֶאֱחֹ֣ז (wə·le·’ĕ·ḥōz)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 270: To grasp, take hold, take possession

folly,
בְּסִכְל֔וּת (bə·siḵ·lūṯ)
Preposition-b | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5531: Silliness

until
עַ֣ד (‘aḏ)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5704: As far as, even to, up to, until, while

I could see
אֶרְאֶ֗ה (’er·’eh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

what
אֵי־ (’ê-)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 335: Where?, how?

[was]
זֶ֨ה (zeh)
Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2088: This, that

worthwhile
ט֜וֹב (ṭō·wḇ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

for men
לִבְנֵ֤י (liḇ·nê)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 1121: A son

to do
יַעֲשׂוּ֙ (ya·‘ă·śū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make

under
תַּ֣חַת (ta·ḥaṯ)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 8478: The bottom, below, in lieu of

heaven
הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם (haš·šā·ma·yim)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8064: Heaven, sky

during the few
מִסְפַּ֖ר (mis·par)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4557: A number, definite, indefinite, narration

days
יְמֵ֥י (yə·mê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 3117: A day

of their lives.
חַיֵּיהֶֽם׃ (ḥay·yê·hem)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2416: Alive, raw, fresh, strong, life
(3) Sought.--The word translated "search out" (Ecclesiastes 1:13).

"Draw," margin. There is no Biblical parallel for the use of the word in this sense. The general meaning is plain.

Acquainting.--Rather, guiding. The word is used of the driver of an animal or the shepherd of a flock (2Samuel 6:3; Psalm 80:1; Isaiah 63:4). Koheleth contemplated not an unrestrained enjoyment of pleasure, but one controlled by prudence.

All the days.--(See margin). This phrase occurs again in Ecclesiastes 5:17; Ecclesiastes 6:12. We have "men of number" in the sense of "few"--i.e., so few that they can be numbered (Genesis 34:30, and often elsewhere). So we may translate here "for their span of life."

Verse 3. - I sought in mine heart; literally, I spied out (as Ecclesiastes 1:13) in my heart. Having proved the fruitlessness of some sort of sensual pleasure, he made another experiment in a philosophical spirit. To give myself unto wine; literally, to draw (mashak) my flesh with wine; i.e. to use the attraction of the pleasures of the table. Yet acquainting my heart with wisdom. This is a parenthetical clause, which Wright translates, "While my heart was acting [guiding] with wisdom." That is, while, as it were, experimenting with pleasure, he still retained sufficient control over his passions as not to be wholly given over to vice; he was in the position of one who is being carried down an impetuous stream, yet has the power of stopping his headlong course before it becomes fatal to him. Such control was given by wisdom. Deliberately to enter upon a course of self-indulgence, even with a possibly good intention, must be a most perilous trial, and one which would leave indelible marks upon the soul; and not one person in a hundred would be able to stop short of ruin, The historical Solomon, by his experiment, suffered infinite loss, which nothing could compensate. The Septuagint renders not very successfully, "I examined whether my heart would draw (ἑλκύσει) my flesh as wine; and my heart guided me in wisdom." The Vulgate gives a sense entirely contrary to the writer's intention; "I thought in my heart to withdraw my flesh from wine, that I might transfer my mind to wisdom." And to lay hold on folly. These words are dependent upon "I sought in my heart," and refer to the sensual pleasures in which he indulged for a certain object. "Dulce est desipere in loco," says Horace ('Canto.,' 4:12. 28); Ἐν μὲν μαινομένοις μάλα μαίνομαι (Theognis, 313). Till I might see. His purpose was to discover if there was in these things any real good which might satisfy men's cravings, and be a worthy object for them to pursue all the days of their life. 2:1-11 Solomon soon found mirth and pleasure to be vanity. What does noisy, flashy mirth towards making a man happy? The manifold devices of men's hearts, to get satisfaction from the world, and their changing from one thing to another, are like the restlessness of a man in a fever. Perceiving it was folly to give himself to wine, he next tried the costly amusements of princes. The poor, when they read such a description, are ready to feel discontent. But the remedy against all such feelings is in the estimate of it all by the owner himself. All was vanity and vexation of spirit: and the same things would yield the same result to us, as to Solomon. Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. His wisdom remained with him; a strong understanding, with great human knowledge. But every earthly pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the mind as eager and unsatisfied as before. Happiness arises not from the situation in which we are placed. It is only through Jesus Christ that final blessedness can be attained.
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Alphabetical: and body cheering could days do during embracing explored few folly for good guiding heaven hold how I is lives me men mind my myself of see sons still stimulate take the their there to tried under until wanted was what while wine wisdom wisely with worthwhile years

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 2:3 I searched in my heart how (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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