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 Ecclesiastes 2
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The New American Standard Bible
   Book of EcclesiastesClick Verse Reference for Study Notes
    2:1-26 - Study Chapter  - Click for Chapter Audio

The Futility of Pleasure and Possessions

1 I said to F17 myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure. R21 So enjoy F18 yourself." And behold, it too was futility. 2 I R22 said of laughter, "It is madness," and of pleasure, "What does it accomplish?" 3 I explored with my mind F19 how to stimulate R23 my body with wine while my mind F19 was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, R24 until I could see what R25 good there is for the sons of men to F20 do under heaven the few years F21 of their lives. 4 I enlarged my works: I built R26 houses for myself, I planted vineyards R27 for myself; 5 I made gardens R28 and parks R29 for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; 6 I made ponds R30 of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn R31 F22 slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds R32 larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. 8 Also, I collected for myself silver and gold R33 and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male R34 and female singers and the pleasures of men--many concubines.

9 Then I became great R35 and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All R36 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 reward R37 for all my labor. 11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, F23 and behold all was vanity R38 F24 and striving after wind and there was no R39 profit under the sun.

Wisdom Excels Folly

12 So I turned to consider R40 wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what R41 has already been done? 13 And I saw that wisdom R42 excels folly as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool R43 walks in darkness. And yet I know that one R44 fate befalls them both. 15 Then I said to F25 myself, "As R45 is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why R46 then have I been extremely wise?" So I F26 said to myself, "This too is vanity." 16 For there is no R47 lasting F27 remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how R48 the wise man and the fool alike die! 17 So I hated R49 life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous F28 to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

The Futility of Labor

18 Thus I hated all R50 the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave R51 it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a R52 fool? Yet he will have control F29 over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. R53 20 Therefore I completely F30 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 skill, R54 then he gives R55 his legacy F31 to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil. 22 For what does a man get in all R56 his labor and in his F32 striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; R57 even at night his mind F33 does R58 not rest. This too is vanity.

24 There is nothing R59 better for a man than to eat and drink and tell F34 himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from R60 the hand of God. 25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him? F35 26 For to a person who is good in His sight He R61 has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give R62 to one who is good in God's sight. This too is vanity R63 and striving after wind.

F17: Lit in my heart
F18: Lit consider with goodness
F19: Lit heart
F19: Lit heart
F20: Lit which they do
F21: Lit days
F22: Lit sons of the house
F23: Lit labored to do
F24: Or futility, and so throughout the ch
F25: Lit in my heart
F26: Lit I spoke in my heart
F27: Lit forever
F28: Lit evil
F29: Lit dominion
F30: Lit turned aside my heart to despair
F31: Lit share
F32: Lit the striving of his heart
F33: Lit heart
F34: Lit cause his soul to see good in his labor
F35: So Gr; Hebrew me

R21: Ecclesiastes 7:4; 8:15
R22: Proverbs 14:13; Ecclesiastes 7:3,6
R23: Judges 9:13; Psalms 104:15; Ecclesiastes 10:19
R24: Ecclesiastes 7:25
R25: Ecclesiastes 2:24; 3:12,13; 5:18; 6:12; 8:15; 12:13
R26: 1 Kings 7:1-12
R27: Song of Solomon 8:11
R28: Song of Solomon 4:16; 5:1
R29: Nehemiah 2:8
R30: Nehemiah 2:14; 3:15,16
R31: Genesis 14:14; 15:3
R32: 1 Kings 4:23
R33: 1 Kings 9:28; 10:10,14,21
R34: 2 Samuel 19:35
R35: 1 Chronicles 29:25; Ecclesiastes 1:16
R36: Ecclesiastes 6:2
R37: Ecclesiastes 3:22; 5:18; 9:9
R38: Ecclesiastes 1:14; 2:22,23
R39: Ecclesiastes 1:3; 3:9; 5:16
R40: Ecclesiastes 1:17
R41: Ecclesiastes 1:9,10; 3:15
R42: Ecclesiastes 7:11,12,19; 9:18; 10:10
R43: 1 John 2:11
R44: Psalms 49:10; Ecclesiastes 3:19; 6:6; 7:2; 9:2,3
R45: Ecclesiastes 2:16
R46: Ecclesiastes 6:8,11
R47: Ecclesiastes 1:11; 9:5
R48: Ecclesiastes 2:14
R49: Ecclesiastes 4:2,3
R50: Ecclesiastes 1:3; 2:11
R51: Psalms 39:6; 49:10
R52: 1 Kings 12:13
R53: 1 Timothy 6:10
R54: Ecclesiastes 4:4
R55: Ecclesiastes 2:18
R56: Ecclesiastes 1:3; 2:11
R57: Job 1:5:7; 14:1; Ecclesiastes 1:18; 5:17
R58: Psalms 127:2
R59: Ecclesiastes 2:3; 3:12,13,22; 5:18; 6:12; 8:15; 9:7; Isaiah 56:12; Luke 12:19; 1 Corinthians 15:32; 1 Timothy 6:17
R60: Ecclesiastes 3:13
R61: Job 1:32:8; Proverbs 2:6
R62: Job 1:27:16,17; Proverbs 13:22
R63: Ecclesiastes 1:14


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