Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Ecclesiastes 2 CEB/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
  Search
Common English Bible (CEB) New International Version (NIV)
1 I said to myself, Come, I will make you experience pleasure; enjoy what is good! But this too was pointless! 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 Merriment, I thought, is madness; pleasure, of no use at all. 2 "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?"
3 I tried cheering myself with wine and by embracing folly—with wisdom still guiding me—until I might see what is really worth doing in the few days that human beings have under heaven. 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 took on great projects: I built houses for myself, planted vineyards for myself. 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
5 I made gardens and parks for myself, planting every kind of fruit tree in them. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6 I made reservoirs for myself to water my lush groves. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
7 I acquired male servants and female servants; I even had slaves born in my house. I also had great herds of cattle and sheep, more than any who preceded 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 amassed silver and gold for myself, the treasures of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers for myself, along with every human luxury, treasure chests galore! 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 became far greater than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Moreover, my wisdom stood by me. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I refrained from nothing that my eyes desired. I refused my heart no pleasure. Indeed, my heart found pleasure from the results of my hard work; that was the reward from all my hard work. 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 But when I surveyed all that my hands had done, and what I had worked so hard to achieve, I realized that it was pointless—a chasing after wind. Nothing is to be gained 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 My reflections then turned to wisdom, madness, and folly. What can the king's heir do but what has already been done? 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 I saw that wisdom is more beneficial than folly, as light is more beneficial than darkness. 13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
14 The wise have eyes in their head, but fools walk around in darkness. But I also realized that the same fate happens to both of them. 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 So I thought to myself, What happens to the fool will also happen to me. So why have I been so very wise? I said to myself, This too is pointless. 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 There is no eternal memory of the wise any more than the foolish, because everyone is forgotten before long. How can the wise die just like 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 things that happen under the sun were troublesome to me. Definitely, everything is pointless—just wind chasing. 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 I hated the things I worked so hard for here under the sun, because I will have to leave them to someone who comes 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 knows whether that one will be wise or foolish? Either way, that person will have control over the results of all my hard work and wisdom here under the sun. That too is pointless. 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 I then gave myself up to despair, as I thought about all my laborious hard work under the sun, 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.
21 because sometimes those who have worked hard with wisdom, knowledge, and skill must leave the results of their hard work as a possession to those who haven't worked hard for it. This too is pointless—it's a terrible wrong. 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 I mean, What do people get for all their hard work and struggles 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 their days are pain, and their work is aggravation; even at night, their hearts don't find rest. This too is pointless. 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 There's nothing better for human beings than to eat, drink, and experience pleasure in their hard work. I also saw that this is from God's hand— 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 can eat and find enjoyment otherwise?— 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
26 because God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please God. But to those who are offensive, God gives the task of hoarding and accumulating, but only so as to give it all to those who do please God. This too is pointless and a chasing 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.