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?”

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

New King James Version
I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?”

New American Standard Bible
I said of laughter, “It is senseless,” and of pleasure, “What does this accomplish?”

NASB 1995
I said of laughter, "It is madness," and of pleasure, "What does it accomplish?"

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

Amplified Bible
I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”

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

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

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

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I said to laughter: "What are these things?", and to joy", what have you done? ", and I turned that I would quiet my heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Literal Standard Version
Of laughter I said, “Foolish!” And of mirth, “What [is] this it is doing?”

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?"

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?'

Additional Translations ...
Context
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?” 3I sought to cheer my body with wine and to embrace folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom—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: …









-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?

Parallel Commentaries ...


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 2:2 I said of laughter It is foolishness (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)
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