The Scriptures (ISR 1998)
1I said in my heart, “Come now, let me try you with rejoicing and find out what is good.” But see, that too was futile.
2I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of rejoicing, “What does it do?”
3I searched in my heart how to stimulate my body with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, until I could see what was good for the sons of men to do under the heavens all the days of their lives.
4I made my works great, I built myself houses, I planted vineyards for myself.
5I made gardens and parks for myself, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6I made pools of water for myself, to water from them a plantation of growing trees.
7I bought male and female servants, and I came to have sons of the household. Also, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were before me in Yerushalayim.
8I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasures of sovereigns and of the provinces. I provided male and female singers for myself, and the pleasures of men – a woman and women.
9Thus I became great and increased more than all who were before me in Yerushalayim. Also my wisdom remained with me.
10And all that my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labour. And this was my portion from all my labour.
11But when I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labour in which I had toiled, see, all was futile and feeding on wind, and there was no gain under the sun.
12And I turned myself to look at wisdom, and madness, and folly. For what would the man do who comes after the sovereign except what already has been done?
13Then I saw that wisdom is better than folly, as light is better than darkness.
14The wise one’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And I also knew that one event befalls them all.
15And I said in my heart, “As the event of the fool, even so it befalls me, and why was I then more wise?” Then I said in my heart, “This also is futile.”
16For there is no more lasting remembrance of the wise than of the fool, since in the days to come all is forgotten. And how does a wise man die? With the fool!
17And I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was evil on me, for all is futile and feeding on wind.
18And I hated all my labour in which I had toiled under the sun, because I leave it to a man who would come after me.
19And who knows whether he is wise or foolish? Yet he shall rule over all my labour in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. That too is futile.
20So I turned my heart and despaired of all the labour in which I had toiled under the sun.
21For a man might labour with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he leaves his heritage to a man who has not laboured for it. That too is futile and a great evil.
22For what does a man get for all his labour and strain of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?
23For all his days are sufferings, and his work grievous; even in the night his heart takes no rest. That too is futile.
24A man could do no better but to eat and drink, and enjoy himself in his labour! That too, I saw, was from the hand of Elohim.
25For who eats or who finds enjoyment without Him?
26For He gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His eyes. But to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and collecting, to give to him who is good before Elohim. That too is futile and feeding on wind.