Ecclesiastes 2
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The Futility of Pleasures

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1I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless.1I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.1I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself." And behold, it too was futility.1I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.1I said to myself, "Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good." But it turned out to be futile.
2"Laughter," I said, "is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?"2I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?”2I said of laughter, "It is madness," and of pleasure, "What does it accomplish?"2I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?2I said about laughter, "It is madness," and about pleasure, "What does this accomplish?"
3I 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.3I 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.3I 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.3I 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.3I 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.
4I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.4I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself.4I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself;4I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:4I increased my achievements. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself.
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5I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.5I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees.5I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees;5I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:5I made gardens and parks for myself and planted every kind of fruit tree in them.
6I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.6I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees.6I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees.6I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:6I constructed reservoirs of water for myself from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees.
7I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.7I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem.7I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.7I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:7I acquired male and female servants and had slaves who were born in my house. I also owned many herds of cattle and flocks, more than all who were before me in Jerusalem.
8I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well--the delights of a man's heart.8I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.8Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men-- many concubines.8I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.8I also amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I gathered male and female singers for myself, and many concubines, the delights of men.
9I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.9So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.9Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me.9So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.9So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem; my wisdom also remained with me.
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10I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil.10And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.10All 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 for all my labor.10And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.10All that my eyes desired, I did not deny them. I did not refuse myself any pleasure, for I took pleasure in all my struggles. This was my reward for all my struggles.
11Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.11Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.11Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.11Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.11When I considered all that I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.

The Wise and the Foolish

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12Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king's successor do than what has already been done?12So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done.12So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done?12And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.12Then I turned to consider wisdom, madness, and folly, for what will the man be like who comes after the king? He will do what has already been done.
13I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.13Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness.13And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.13Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.13And I realized that there is an advantage to wisdom over folly, like the advantage of light over darkness.
14The wise have eyes in their heads, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.14The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.14The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both.14The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.14The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet I also knew that one fate comes to them both.
15Then I said to myself, "The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?" I said to myself, "This too is meaningless."15Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.15Then I said to myself, "As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?" So I said to myself, "This too is vanity."15Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.15So I said to myself, "What happens to the fool will also happen to me. Why then have I been overly wise?" And I said to myself that this is also futile.
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16For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die!16For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!16For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!16For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.16For, just like the fool, there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man, since in the days to come both will be forgotten. How is it that the wise man dies just like the fool?
17So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.17So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.17So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.17Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.17Therefore, I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

The Futility of Work

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18I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.18I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me,18Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me.18Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.18I hated all my work that I labored at under the sun because I must leave it to the man who comes after me.
19And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.19and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.19And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity.19And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.19And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will take over all my work that I labored at skillfully under the sun. This too is futile.
20So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.20So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun,20Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.20Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.20So I began to give myself over to despair concerning all my work that I had labored at under the sun.
21For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.21because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.21When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil.21For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.21When there is a man whose work was done with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and he must give his portion to a man who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great wrong.
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22What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun?22What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun?22For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun?22For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?22For what does a man get with all his work and all his efforts that he labors at under the sun?
23All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.23For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.23Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.23For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.23For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile.
24A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,24There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,24There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.24There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.24There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God's hand,
25for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?25for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?25For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?25For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?25because who can eat and who can enjoy life apart from Him?
26To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.26For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.26For to a person who is good in His sight 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 give to one who is good in God's sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.26For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.26For to the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God's sight. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.



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