I said to myself, "Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure and enjoy what is good." But it turned out to be futile.
I said about laughter, "It is madness," and about pleasure, "What does this accomplish?"
I explored with my mind how to let my body enjoy life with wine and how to grasp folly-my mind still guiding me with wisdom-until I could see what is good for people to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.
I increased my achievements. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself.
I made gardens and parks for myself and planted every kind of fruit tree in them.
I constructed reservoirs of water for myself from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees.
I acquired male and female servants and had slaves who were born in my house. I also owned many herds of cattle and flocks, more than all who were before me in Jerusalem.
I also amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I gathered male and female singers for myself, and many concubines, the delights of men.
Thus, I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem; my wisdom also remained with me.
All that my eyes desired, I did not deny them. I did not refuse myself any pleasure, for I took pleasure in all my struggles. This was my reward for all my struggles.
When I considered all that I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.