The Emptiness of Pleasure
1I said to myself, “Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure; #Ec 7:4|NoBook| 8:15Lk 12:19 enjoy what is good.” But it turned out to be futile. 2I said about laughter, #Pr 14:13Ec 7:3 “It is madness,” and about pleasure, “What does this accomplish? ” 3I explored with my mind how to let my body enjoy life # Lit to pull my body with wine #Ps 104:15Ec 10:19 and how to grasp folly #Ec 7:25 — my mind still guiding me with wisdom — until I could see what is good for people to do under heaven # Two Hb mss, LXX, Syr read the sun during the few days of their lives. #Ec 2:24|NoBook| 3:12|NoBook| 5:18|NoBook| 8:15
The Emptiness of Possessions
4I increased my achievements. I built houses #1Kg 7:1-12 and planted vineyards #Sg 8:11 for myself. 5I made gardens #Sg 4:16 and parks for myself and planted every kind of fruit tree in them. 6I constructed reservoirs of water for myself from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees. #Neh 2:143:15-16 7I acquired male and female servants and had slaves who were born in my house. #Gn 14:14|NoBook| 15:3 I also owned many herds of cattle and flocks, more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. #1Kg 4:23 8I also amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. #1Kg 9:28|NoBook| 10:10 I gathered male and female singers for myself, #2Sm 19:35 and many concubines, the delights of men. # LXX, Theod, Syr read and male cupbearers and female cupbearers ; Aq, Tg, Vg read a cup and cups ; Hb obscure # Or many treasures that people delight in 9So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem; #1Ch 29:25Ec 1:16 my wisdom also remained with me. 10All that my eyes desired, I did not deny them. #Ec 6:2 I did not refuse myself any pleasure, for I took pleasure in all my struggles. This was my reward for all my struggles. #Ec 3:22|NoBook| 5:18|NoBook| 9:9 11When I considered all that I had accomplished # Lit all my works that my hands had done and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. #Ec 1:142:22-23 There was nothing to be gained under the sun. #Ec 1:3|NoBook| 3:9|NoBook| 5:16
The Relative Value of Wisdom
12Then I turned to consider wisdom, #Ec 1:17 madness, and folly, for what will the man be like who comes after the king? He # Some Hb mss read They will do what has already been done. #Ec 1:9-10|NoBook| 3:15 13And I realized that there is an advantage to wisdom over folly, like the advantage of light over darkness. #Ec 7:11-12|NoBook| 9:18|NoBook| 10:10
14The wise man has eyes in his head,
but the fool walks in darkness. #Pr 2:10-131Jn 2:11
Yet I also knew that one fate comes to them both. #Ps 49:10Ec 3:19|NoBook| 6:6|NoBook| 7:29:2-3 15So I said to myself, “What happens to the fool will also happen to me. Why then have I been overly wise? ” #Ec 6:8|NoBook| 7:16 And I said to myself that this is also futile. 16For, just like the fool, there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man, #Dt 32:262Sm 18:18Ec 1:11|NoBook| 9:5 since in the days to come both will be forgotten. How is it that the wise man dies just like the fool? 17Therefore, I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
The Emptiness of Work
18I hated all my work that I labored at under the sun #Ec 1:3|NoBook| 2:11 because I must leave it to the man who comes after me. #Ps 39:6|NoBook| 49:10Pr 13:22 19And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? #Ezk 18:9-10 Yet he will take over all my work that I labored at skillfully under the sun. This too is futile. 20So I began to give myself over # Lit And I turned to cause my heart to despair concerning all my work that I had labored at under the sun. 21When there is a man whose work was done with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, #Ec 4:4 and he must give his portion to a man who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great wrong. 22For what does a man get with all his work and all his efforts #Ec 1:3|NoBook| 2:11 that he labors at under the sun? 23For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; #Jb 5:7|NoBook| 14:1 even at night, his mind does not rest. #Ps 127:2 This too is futile.
24There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy # Syr, Tg; MT reads There is no good in man who eats and drinks and enjoys # Lit and his soul sees good his work. #Ec 2:33:12-13|NoBook| 5:18|NoBook| 6:12|NoBook| 8:15|NoBook| 9:7Is 56:12Lk 12:191Co 15:321Tm 6:17 I have seen that even this is from God’s hand, #Ec 3:13 25because who can eat and who can enjoy life # LXX, Theod, Syr read can drink apart from Him? # Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr read me 26For to the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, #Jb 32:8Pr 2:6 but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God’s sight. #Jb 27:16-17Pr 13:22|NoBook| 28:8 This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. #Ec 1:14