I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees.
I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves.
I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me.
I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!
So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me.
Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors.
But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
So I decided to compare wisdom with foolishness and madness (for who can do this better than I, the king? ).
References for Ecclesiastes 2:12
I thought, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness.
For the wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark.” Yet I saw that the wise and the foolish share the same fate.
Both will die. So I said to myself, “Since I will end up the same as the fool, what’s the value of all my wisdom? This is all so meaningless!”