Ecclesiastes 2:2
New International Version
"Laughter," I said, "is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?"

New Living Translation
So I said, "Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?"

English Standard Version
I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?”

Berean Study Bible
I said of laughter, “It is folly,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”

New American Standard Bible
I said of laughter, "It is madness," and of pleasure, "What does it accomplish?"

King James Bible
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?

Christian Standard Bible
I said about laughter, "It is madness," and about pleasure, "What does this accomplish?"

Contemporary English Version
Laughing and having fun is crazy. What good does it do?

Good News Translation
I discovered that laughter is foolish, that pleasure does you no good.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I said about laughter, "It is madness," and about pleasure, "What does this accomplish?"

International Standard Version
"Senseless," said I concerning laughter and pleasure, "How practical is this?"

NET Bible
I said of partying, "It is folly," and of self-indulgent pleasure, "It accomplishes nothing!"

New Heart English Bible
I said of laughter, "It is foolishness;" and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I thought, "Laughter doesn't make any sense. What does pleasure accomplish?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
I said of laughter: 'It is mad'; and of mirth: 'What doth it accomplish?'

New American Standard 1977
I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
I said of laughter, It is mad, and of mirth, What does it do?

King James 2000 Bible
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What use is it?

American King James Version
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What does it?

American Standard Version
I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What doeth it?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
I said to laughter, Madness: and to mirth, Why doest thou this:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Laughter I counted error: and to mirth I said: Why art thou vainly deceived?

Darby Bible Translation
I said of laughter, Madness! and of mirth, What availeth it?

English Revised Version
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?

Webster's Bible Translation
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?

World English Bible
I said of laughter, "It is foolishness;" and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?"

Young's Literal Translation
Of laughter I said, 'Foolish!' and of mirth, 'What is this it is doing?'
Study Bible
The Futility of Pleasure
1I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good!” But it proved to be futile. 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.…
Cross References
Proverbs 14:13
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in sorrow.

Ecclesiastes 7:3
Sorrow is better than laughter, for a sad countenance is good for the heart.

Ecclesiastes 7:6
For like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of the fool--this too is futile.

Treasury of Scripture

I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What does it?

it is

Ecclesiastes 7:2-6
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart…

Proverbs 14:13
Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

Isaiah 22:12,13
And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: …







Lexicon
I said
אָמַ֣רְתִּי (’ā·mar·tî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

of laughter,
לִשְׂח֖וֹק (liś·ḥō·wq)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7814: Laughter, derision, sport

“It is folly,”
מְהוֹלָ֑ל (mə·hō·w·lāl)
Verb - Pual - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1984: To shine

and of pleasure,
וּלְשִׂמְחָ֖ה (ū·lə·śim·ḥāh)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8057: Blithesomeness, glee

“What
מַה־ (mah-)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

does it
זֹּ֥ה (zōh)
Pronoun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2090: This, that

accomplish?”
עֹשָֽׂה׃ (‘ō·śāh)
Verb - Qal - Participle - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make
-2Proverbs 14:13.

Mad.--Psalm 102:9.

Verse 2. - I said of laughter, It is mad. Laughter and mirth are personified, hence treated as masculine. He uses the term "mad" in reference to the statement in Ecclesiastes 1:17, "I gave my heart to know madness and folly." Septuagint, "I said to laughter, Error (περιφοράν);" Vulgate, Risum reputavi errorem. Neither of these is as accurate as the Authorized Version. Of mirth, What doeth it? What does it effect towards real happiness and contentment? How does it help to fill the void, to give lasting satisfaction? So we have in Proverbs 14:13, "Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of mirth is heaviness;" though the context is different. The Vulgate renders loosely, Quid frustra deeiperis? 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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