Ecclesiastes Chapter 2
Bible Study Toolwith links to word definitions, and comparison translations: Parallel (P) & Interlinear (I) at right, as well as (KJV) & (YLT) below
1 I said in my mind, Go to now, I will test you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, this also is vapor.
Last updated: Feb, 2013
1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also [is] vanity.
2 I said of laughter, [It is] mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what [was] that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:
5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all [kind of] fruits:
6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
7 I got [me] servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
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, [as] musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
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 vexation of spirit, and [there was] no profit under the sun.
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.
13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
14 The wise man’s eyes [are] in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also [is] vanity.
16 For [there is] no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now [is] in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise [man]? as the fool.
17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun [is] grievous unto me: for all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
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 myself wise under the sun. This [is] also vanity.
20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
21 For there is a man whose labour [is] in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it [for] his portion. This also [is] vanity and a great evil.
22 For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?
23 For all his days [are] sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
24 [There is] nothing better for a man, [than] that he should eat and drink, and [that] he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it [was] from the hand of God.
25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten [hereunto], more than I?
26 For [God] giveth to a man that [is] good in his sight 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 is] good before God. This also [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
King James Version
1 I said in my heart, 'Pray, come, I try thee with mirth, and look thou on gladness;' and lo, even it [is] vanity.
2 Of laughter I said, 'Foolish!' and of mirth, 'What [is] this it is doing?'
3 I have sought in my heart to draw out with wine my appetite, (and my heart leading in wisdom), and to take hold on folly till that I see where [is] this -- the good to the sons of man of that which they do under the heavens, the number of the days of their lives.
4 I made great my works, I builded for me houses, I planted for me vineyards.
5 I made for me gardens and paradises, and I planted in them trees of every fruit.
6 I made for me pools of water, to water from them a forest shooting forth trees.
7 I got men-servants, and maid-servants, and sons of the house were to me; also, I had much substance -- herd and flock -- above all who had been before me in Jerusalem.
8 I gathered for me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces. I prepared for me men-singers and women-singers, and the luxuries of the sons of man -- a wife and wives.
9 And I became great, and increased above every one who had been before me in Jerusalem; also, my wisdom stood with me.
10 And all that mine eyes asked I kept not back from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy, for my heart rejoiced because of all my labour, and this hath been my portion, from all my labour,
11 and I have looked on all my works that my hands have done, and on the labour that I have laboured to do, and lo, the whole [is] vanity and vexation of spirit, and there is no advantage under the sun!
12 And I turned to see wisdom, and madness, and folly, but what [is] the man who cometh after the king? that which [is] already -- they have done it!
13 And I saw that there is an advantage to wisdom above folly, like the advantage of the light above the darkness.
14 The wise! -- his eyes [are] in his head, and the fool in darkness is walking, and I also knew that one event happeneth with them all;
15 and I said in my heart, 'As it happeneth with the fool, it happeneth also with me, and why am I then more wise?' And I spake in my heart, that also this [is] vanity:
16 That there is no remembrance to the wise -- with the fool -- to the age, for that which [is] already, [in] the days that are coming is all forgotten, and how dieth the wise? with the fool!
17 And I have hated life, for sad to me [is] the work that hath been done under the sun, for the whole [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.
18 And I have hated all my labour that I labour at under the sun, because I leave it to a man who is after me.
19 And who knoweth whether he is wise or foolish? yet he doth rule over all my labour that I have laboured at, and that I have done wisely under the sun! this also [is] vanity.
20 And I turned round to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labour that I laboured at under the sun.
21 For there is a man whose labour [is] in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity, and to a man who hath not laboured therein he giveth it -- his portion! Even this [is] vanity and a great evil.
22 For what hath been to a man by all his labour, and by the thought of his heart that he laboured at under the sun?
23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail sadness; even at night his heart hath not lain down; this also [is] vanity.
24 There is nothing good in a man who eateth, and hath drunk, and hath shewn his soul good in his labour. This also I have seen that it [is] from the hand of God.
25 For who eateth and who hasteth out more than I?
26 For to a man who [is] good before Him, He hath given wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; and to a sinner He hath given travail, to gather and to heap up, to give to the good before God. Even this [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.