Ecclesiastes 2:6-16 (New International Version)

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6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves1 who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold2 for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.3 I acquired men and women singers,4 and a harema as well--the delights of the heart of man. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem5 before me.6 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;7 nothing was gained under the sun.8

Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless

12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly.9 What more can the king's successor do than what has already been done?10 13 I saw that wisdom11 is better than folly,12 just as light is better than darkness. 14 The wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.13 15 Then I thought in my heart, "The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?"14 I said in my heart, "This too is meaningless." 16 For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered;15 in days to come both will be forgotten.16 Like the fool, the wise man too must die!17
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