Ecclesiastes 2:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless.

New Living Translation
I said to myself, "Come on, let's try pleasure. Let's look for the 'good things' in life." But I found that this, too, was meaningless.

English Standard Version
I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.

New American Standard Bible
I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself." And behold, it too was futility.

King James Bible
I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I said to myself, "Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good." But it turned out to be futile.

International Standard Version
I told myself, "I will test you with pleasure, so enjoy yourself." But this was pointless.

NET Bible
I thought to myself, "Come now, I will try self-indulgent pleasure to see if it is worthwhile." But I found that it also is futile.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I thought to myself, "Now I want to experiment with pleasure and enjoy myself." But even this was pointless.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy good things; and, behold, this also is vanity.

King James 2000 Bible
I said in my heart, Come now, I will test you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.

American King James Version
I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.

American Standard Version
I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also was vanity.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I said in my heart: I will go, and abound with delights, and enjoy good things. And I saw that this also was vanity.

Darby Bible Translation
I said in my heart, Come now, I will try thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure. But behold, this also is vanity.

English Revised Version
I SAID in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also was vanity.

Webster's Bible Translation
I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and behold, this also is vanity.

World English Bible
I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth: therefore enjoy pleasure;" and behold, this also was vanity.

Young's Literal Translation
I said in my heart, 'Pray, come, I try thee with mirth, and look thou on gladness;' and lo, even it is vanity.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-11. - Section 2. Vanity of striving after pleasure and wealth. Verse 1. - Dissatisfied with the result of the pursuit of wisdom, Koheleth embarks on a course of sensual pleasure, if so be this may yield some effect more substantial and permanent. I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth. The heart is addressed as the seat of the emotions and affections. The Vulgate misses the direct address to the heart, which the words, rightly interpreted, imply, translating, Vadam et offluam delieiis. The Septuagint correctly gives, Δεῦρο δὴ πειράσω σε ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ. It is like the rich fool's language in Christ's parable, "I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry" (Luke 12:10). Therefore enjoy pleasure; literally, see good (Ecclesiastes 6:6). "To see" is often used figuratively in the sense of "to experience, or enjoy." Wright compares the expressions, "see death" (Luke 2:26), "see life" (John 3:36). We may find the like in Psalm 34:13; Jeremiah 29:32; Obadiah 1:13 (comp. Ecclesiastes 9:9). The king now tries to find the summum bonum in pleasure, in selfish enjoyment without thought of others. Commentators, as they saw Stoicism in the first chapter, so read Epieureanism into this. We shall have occasion to refer to this idea further on (see on Ecclesiastes 3:22). Of this new experiment the result was the same as before. Behold, this also is vanity. This experience is confirmed in the next verse.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

I said in mine heart,.... He communed with his heart, he thought and reasoned within himself, and came to this resolution in his own mind; that since he could not find happiness in natural wisdom and knowledge, he would seek for it elsewhere, even in pleasure; in which, he observed, some men placed their happiness; or, however, sought for it there: or, "I said to my heart", as the Syriac version;

Go to now; or, "go, I pray thee" (u) listen to what I am about to say, and pursue the track I shall now point out to thee;

I will prove thee with mirth; with those things which will cause mirth, joy, and pleasure; and try whether any happiness can be enjoyed this way, since it could not be had in wisdom and knowledge. Jarchi and Aben Ezra render it, "I will mingle", wine with water, or with spices; or, "I will pour out", wine in plenty to drink of, "with joy", and to promote mirth: but the Targum, Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, interpret it as we do, and which sense Aben Ezra makes mention of;

therefore enjoy pleasure; which man is naturally a lover of; he was so in his state of innocency, and this was the bait that was laid for him, and by which he was drawn into sin; and now he loves, lives in, and serves sinful pleasures; which are rather imaginary than real, and last but for a season, and end in bitterness: but such sordid lusts and pleasures are not here meant; Solomon was too wise and good a man to give into these, as the "summum bonum"; or ever to think there could be any happiness in them, or even to make a trial of them for that purpose: not criminal pleasures, or an impure, sottish, and epicurean life, are here intended; but manly, rational, and lawful pleasures, for no other are mentioned in the detail of particulars following; and, in the pursuit of the whole, he was guided and governed by his wisdom, and that remained in him, Ecclesiastes 2:3. It may be rendered, "therefore see good" (w); look upon all the good, pleasant, and delectable things of life; and enjoy them in such a manner as, if possible, happiness may be attained in them;

and, behold, this also is vanity; it will be found, by making the experiment, that there is no solid and substantial happiness in it, as it was by himself.

(u) "age, quaeso", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Rambachius. (w) "et vide in bonum", Montanus; "et vide bonum", Vatablus, Mercerus, Cocceius, Gejerus; "fraere bono", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Amama, Rambachius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 2

Ec 2:1-26.

He next tries pleasure and luxury, retaining however, his worldly "wisdom" (Ec 3:9), but all proves "vanity" in respect to the chief good.

1. I said … heart—(Lu 12:19).

thee—my heart, I will test whether thou canst find that solid good in pleasure which was not in "worldly wisdom." But this also proves to be "vanity" (Isa 50:11).

Ecclesiastes 2:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Futility of Pleasures
1I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself." And behold, it too was futility. 2I said of laughter, "It is madness," and of pleasure, "What does it accomplish?"…
Cross References
Proverbs 14:13
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief.

Ecclesiastes 7:4
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

Ecclesiastes 8:15
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.
Treasury of Scripture

I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.

said

Ecclesiastes 2:15 Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens …

Ecclesiastes 1:16,17 I communed with my own heart, saying, See, I am come to great estate…

Ecclesiastes 3:17,18 I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: …

Psalm 10:6 He has said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never …

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, …

Psalm 27:8 When you said, Seek you my face; my heart said to you, Your face, …

Psalm 30:6,7 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved…

Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for …

go to

Genesis 11:3,4,7 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn …

2 Kings 5:5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter to …

Isaiah 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will …

James 4:13 Go to now, you that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such …

James 5:1 Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come on you.

i will

Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the …

Ecclesiastes 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you …

Isaiah 50:5,11 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither …

Luke 16:19,23 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine …

James 5:5 You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have …

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, …

Revelation 18:7,8 How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much …

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