Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (New International Version)

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Pleasures Are Meaningless

1 I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure1 to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 "Laughter,"2 I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" 3 I tried cheering myself with wine,3 and embracing folly4--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself5 and planted vineyards.6 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves7 who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold8 for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.9 I acquired men and women singers,10 and a harema as well--the delights of the heart of man. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem11 before me.12 In all this my wisdom stayed with me. 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;13 nothing was gained under the sun.14
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