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Ecclesiastes 2:2-12 (New International Version)

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2 "Laughter,"1 I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" 3 I tried cheering myself with wine,2 and embracing folly3--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 myself4 and planted vineyards.5 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 slaves6 who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold7 for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.8 I acquired men and women singers,9 and a harema as well--the delights of the heart of man. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem10 before me.11 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;12 nothing was gained under the sun.13

Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless

12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly.14 What more can the king's successor do than what has already been done?15
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