Ecclesiastes 2
Orthodox Jewish Bible
1 I said in mine lev, Come now, I will test thee with simchah, therefore enjoy tov; and, hinei, this also is hevel. 2 I said of laughter, It is mad; and of simchah, What doeth it accomplish? 3 I searched in mine lev to draw my basar on with yayin, my mind guiding me with chochmah; and to lay hold on sichlut (folly), till I might see what was tov for bnei haAdam, which they should do under Shomayim all the few days of their life. 4 I undertook me great works; I built me batim (houses); I planted me kramim (vineyards); 5 I made me ganot (gardens) and parks, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them; 6 I made me reservoirs of mayim, to water therewith the forest of trees tzomeiach (sprouting up); 7 I bought me avadim and shfakhot, and had bnei bayit (avadim born in my bais); also I had great possessions of herds and tzon more than all that were in Yerushalayim before me; 8 I amassed for me also kesef and zahav, and the treasure of melachim and of the provinces; I acquired for me men singers and women singers, and the delights of bnei haAdam, musical instruments of all kinds.

9 So I was great, and excelled more than all that were before me in Yerushalayim; also my chochmah remained with me. 10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my lev from any simchah; for my lev rejoiced in all my amal (labor); and this was my chelek (portion) for all my amal. 11 Then I looked on kol ma'asim that my hands had wrought, and on the amal that I had labored to do; and, hinei, all was hevel and chasing after ruach, and there was no profit under the shemesh.

12 And I turned myself to consider chochmah, and holelot, and sichlut; for what can the adam do who cometh after HaMelech? Even that which hath been done already. 13 Then I saw that chochmah excelleth sichlut, as far as ohr excelleth choshech. 14 The chacham (wise man) hath eyes in his rosh; but the kesil (fool) walketh in choshech; but I myself perceived also that the same mikreh (fortune) happeneth to them all. 15 Then said I in my lev, As the mikreh befalls the kesil, so also will the same mikreh befall me; and wherein have I then been of more chochmah? Then I said in my lev, This also is hevel. 16 For no zichron (remembrance) of the chacham---no less the kesil-remains l'olam; seeing that in hayamim haba'im (the days to come) all shall be forgotten. How can the chacham die just like the kesil? 17 Therefore I hated HaChayyim (Life); because the ma'aseh that is wrought under the shemesh is grievous unto me; for all is hevel and chasing after ruach.

18 Yea, I hated all my amal for which I had toiled under the shemesh; because I must leave it unto the adam that shall occupy my place after me. 19 And who hath da'as whether he shall be a chacham or a kesil? Nevertheless shall he have shlitah (control, authority) over all my amal for which I have toiled, and have poured out my chochmah under the shemesh. This also is hevel. 20 Therefore I turned aside to give up my lev to despair over all the wearisome amal with which I toiled under the shemesh. 21 For there is an adam whose amal is with chochmah, and da'as, and kishron (skill); yet to an adam that hath not worked for it he must leave it for his chelek. This also is hevel and a ra'ah rabbah. 22 For what hath adam for all his amal, and for all the striving of his lev, wherein he hath labored under the shemesh? 23 For all his yamim are machovim (sorrows), and his travail ka'as (grief, vexation); yea, his lev taketh not rest balailah. This also is hevel.

24 There is nothing better for adam, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his nefesh find satisfaction in his amal. Also this I saw; even this was from the Yad HaElohim. 25 For who can eat, or who can find enjoyment without Hashem? 26 For to the adam that is pleasing in His sight, Hashem gives chochmah, and da'as, and simchah; but to the choteh (sinner) Hashem giveth travail; Hashem giveth the work of gathering and storing up, that Hashem may give to him that pleases HaElohim. This also is hevel and chasing after ruach.

THE ORTHODOX JEWISH BIBLE, Third Edition. Copyright © 2002,2003 by Artists For Israel International. All rights reserved.
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