Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

New Living Translation

1I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. 2So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” 3After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.
4I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. 5I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. 6I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. 7I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. 8I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!
9So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. 10Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. 11But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.