English Revised Version

Ecclesiastes 2

The vanity of human courses in the works of pleasure.

Ecclesiastes 2:1 I SAID in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also was vanity. Ecclesiastes 2:2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? Ecclesiastes 2:3 I searched in mine heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, mine heart yet guiding [me] with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. Ecclesiastes 2:4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards; Ecclesiastes 2:5 I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit: Ecclesiastes 2:6 I made me pools of water, to water therefrom the forest where trees were reared: Ecclesiastes 2:7 I bought menservants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem: Ecclesiastes 2:8 I 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, concubines very many. Ecclesiastes 2:9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. Ecclesiastes 2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them: I withheld not my heart from any joy, for my heart rejoiced because of all my labour; and this was my portion from all my labour. Ecclesiastes 2:11 Then 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 a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.

Though the wise be better than the fool, yet both have one event.

Ecclesiastes 2:12 And 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. Ecclesiastes 2:13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. Ecclesiastes 2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, and the fool walketh in darkness: and yet I perceived that one event happeneth to them all. Ecclesiastes 2:15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also was vanity. Ecclesiastes 2:16 For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance for ever; seeing that in the days to come all will have been already forgotten. And how doth the wise man die even as the fool! Ecclesiastes 2:17 So I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun was grievous unto me: for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

The vanity of human labour, in leaving it they know not to whom.

Ecclesiastes 2:18 And I hated all my labour wherein I laboured under the sun: seeing that I must leave it unto the man that shall be after me. Ecclesiastes 2:19 And 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 wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. Ecclesiastes 2:20 Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labour wherein I had laboured under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:21 For there is a man whose labour is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skilfulness; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. Ecclesiastes 2:22 For what hath a man of all his labour, and of the striving of his heart, wherein he laboureth under the sun? Ecclesiastes 2:23 For all his days are [but] sorrows, and his travail is grief; yea, even in the night his heart taketh no rest. This also is vanity.

Nothing better than joy in our labour; but that is God's gift.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 There is nothing better for a man [than] that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I? Ecclesiastes 2:26 For to the man that pleaseth him [God] giveth 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 pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

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