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Ecclesiastes 2:3-13 (New International Version)

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3 I tried cheering myself with wine,1 and embracing folly2--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 myself3 and planted vineyards.4 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 slaves5 who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold6 for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.7 I acquired men and women singers,8 and a harema as well--the delights of the heart of man. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem9 before me.10 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;11 nothing was gained under the sun.12

Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless

12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly.13 What more can the king's successor do than what has already been done?14 13 I saw that wisdom15 is better than folly,16 just as light is better than darkness.
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