I said to myself, "Come on. I'll put pleasure to the test. I want to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless.
"Laughter is foolish," I said. "And what can pleasure do for me?"
I tried cheering myself up by drinking wine. I even tried living in a foolish way. But wisdom was still guiding my mind. I wanted to see what was really important for men to do on earth during the few days of their lives.
So I started some large projects. I built houses for myself. I planted vineyards.
I made gardens and parks. I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
I made lakes to water groves of healthy trees.
I bought male and female slaves. And I had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem ever had before.
I stored up silver and gold for myself. I gathered up the treasures of kings and their kingdoms. I got some male and female singers. I also got many women for myself. Women delight the hearts of men.
I became far more important than anyone in Jerusalem had ever been before. And in spite of everything, I didn't lose my wisdom.
I gave myself everything my eyes wanted. There wasn't any pleasure that I refused to give myself. I took delight in everything I did. And that was what I got for all of my work.
But then I looked over everything my hands had done. I saw what I had worked so hard to get. And nothing had any meaning. It was like chasing the wind. Nothing was gained on this earth.