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Ecclesiastes 2 BBE/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 I said in my heart, I will give you joy for a test; so take your pleasure--but it was to no purpose. 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 Of laughing I said, It is foolish; and of joy--What use is it? 2 "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?"
3 I made a search with my heart to give pleasure to my flesh with wine, still guiding my heart with wisdom, and to go after foolish things, so that I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under the heavens 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 undertook great works, building myself houses and planting vine-gardens. 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
5 I made myself gardens and fruit gardens, planting in them fruit-trees of all sorts. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6 I made pools to give water for the woods with their young trees. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
7 I got men-servants and women-servants, and they gave birth to sons and daughters in my house. I had great wealth of herds and flocks, more than all who were in Jerusalem before me. 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 got together silver and gold and the wealth of kings and of countries. I got makers of song, male and female; and the delights of the sons of men--girls of all sorts to be my brides. 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 And I became great; increasing more than all who had been before me in Jerusalem, and my wisdom was still with me. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 And nothing which was desired by my eyes did I keep from them; I did not keep any joy from my heart, because my heart took pleasure in all my work, and this was my reward. 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 saw all the works which my hands had made, and everything I had been working to do; and I saw that all was to no purpose and desire for 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 went again in search of wisdom and of foolish ways. What may the man do who comes after the king? The thing which he has done before. 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 is better than foolish ways--as the light is better than the dark. 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, but the foolish man goes walking in the dark; but still I saw that the same event comes 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 comes to the foolish man, so will it come to me; so why have I been wise overmuch? Then I said in my heart: This again is to no purpose. 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 Of the wise man, as of the foolish man, there is no memory for ever, seeing that those who now are will have gone from memory in the days to come. See how death comes to the wise as to the foolish! 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 was hating life, because everything under the sun was evil to me: all is to no purpose and desire for 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 Hate had I for all my work which I had done, because the man who comes after me will have its fruits. 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 is to say if that man will be wise or foolish? But he will have power over all my work which I have done and in which I have been wise under the sun. This again is to no purpose. 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 So my mind was turned to grief for all the trouble I had taken and all my wisdom under the sun. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.
21 Because there is a man whose work has been done with wisdom, with knowledge, and with an expert hand; but one who has done nothing for it will have it for his heritage. This again is to no purpose 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 What does a man get for all his work, and for the weight of care with which he has done his work under the sun? 22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?
23 All his days are sorrow, and his work is full of grief. Even in the night his heart has no rest. This again is to no purpose. 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 taking meat and drink, and having delight in his work. This again I saw was 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 Who may take food or have pleasure without him? 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
26 To the man with whom he is pleased, God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of getting goods together and storing up wealth, to give to him in whom God has pleasure. This again is to no purpose and desire for 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.