The Futility of Pleasure and Possessions
1I said Lit in my heartto myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So Lit consider with goodnessenjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility.
2I said of laughter, “It is senseless,” and of pleasure, “What does this accomplish?”
3I explored with my Lit heartmind how to refresh my body with wine while my Lit heartmind was guiding me wisely; and how to seize foolishness, until I could see what good there is for the sons of mankind Lit which they doto do under heaven for the few Lit daysyears of their lives.
4I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself;
5I made gardens and parks for myself, and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees;
6I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees.
7I bought male and female slaves, and I had Lit sonsslaves born at home. I also possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.
8I also amassed for myself silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers, and the pleasures of the sons of mankind: many concubines.
9Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me.
10All that my eyes desired, I did not refuse them. I did not restrain my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor; and this was my reward for all my labor.
11So I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had Lit labored to doexerted, and behold, all was futility and striving after wind, and there was no benefit under the sun.
Wisdom Surpasses Foolishness
12So I turned to consider wisdom, insanity, and foolishness; for what will the man do who will come after the king, except what has already been done?
13Then I saw that wisdom surpasses foolishness as light surpasses darkness.
14The wise person’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one and the same fate happens to Lit all ofboth of them.
15Then I said Lit in my heartto myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also happen to me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So Lit I spoke in my heartI said to myself, “This too is futility.”
16For there is no Lit foreverlasting remembrance of the wise, along with the fool, since in the coming days everything will Lit alreadysoon be forgotten. And how the wise and the fool alike die!
17So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was Lit evilunhappy to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.
The Futility of Labor
18So I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
19And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is futility.
20Therefore I Lit turned aside my heart to despaircompletely despaired over all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.
21When there is a person who has labored with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and then gives his Lit sharelegacy to one who has not labored for it; this too is futility and a great evil.
22For what does a person get in all his labor and in Lit the striving of his hearthis striving with which he labors under the sun?
23Because all his days his activity is painful and irritating; even at night his Lit heartmind does not rest. This too is futility.
24There is nothing better for a person than to eat and drink, and show Lit his soulhimself some good in his trouble. This too I have seen, that it is from the hand of God.
25For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without As in LXX; Heb meHim?
26For to a person who is good in His sight, He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is futility and striving after wind.