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Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (English Standard Version)

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The Vanity of Self-Indulgence

1 I 1said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself." But behold, this also was vanity. 2 I 2said of laughter, "It is mad," and of pleasure, "What use is it?" 3 I 3searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine--my heart still guiding me with wisdom--and how to lay hold on 4folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. 4 I made great works. I 5built houses and planted 6vineyards for myself. 5 I made myself 7gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves, and had 8slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of 9herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and 10gold and the treasure of 11kings and 12provinces. I got 13singers, both men and women, and many 14concubines,a the delight of the children of man. 9 So I became great and 15surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my 16wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart 17found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my 18reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was 19vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing 20to be gained under the sun.
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