Ecclesiastes 2 ASV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also was vanity. 1 I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless.
2 I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What doeth it? 2 "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?"
3 I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding [me] with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life. 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--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 made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards; 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
5 I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit; 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6 I made me pools of water, to water therefrom the forest where trees were reared; 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
7 I bought men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem; 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.
8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces; I gat me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well--the delights of the heart of man.
9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor; and this was my portion from all my labor. 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 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun. 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; nothing was gained under the sun.
12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what [can] the man [do] that cometh after the king? [even] that which hath been done long ago. 12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king's successor do than what has already been done?
13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. 13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, and the fool walketh in darkness: and yet I perceived that one event happeneth to them all. 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.
15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then said I in my heart, that this also is vanity. 15 Then I thought in my heart, "The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?" I said in my heart, "This too is meaningless."
16 For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance for ever; seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. And how doth the wise man die even as the fool! 16 For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!
17 So I hated life, because the work that is wrought under the sun was grievous unto me; for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
18 And I hated all my labor wherein I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.
19 And who knoweth whether he will be a wise man or a fool? yet will he have rule over all my labor wherein I have labored, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.
20 Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor wherein I had labored under the sun. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.
21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skilfulness; yet to a man that hath not labored therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 21 For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.
22 For what hath a man of all his labor, and of the striving of his heart, wherein he laboreth under the sun? 22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?
23 For all his days are [but] sorrows, and his travail is grief; yea, even in the night his heart taketh no rest. This also is vanity. 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 There is nothing better for a man [than] that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God. 24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,
25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I? 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
26 For to the man that pleaseth him [God] giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. 26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.