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Ecclesiastes 2 NIRV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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New International Reader's Version (NIRV) New International Version (NIV)
1 I said to myself, "Come on. I'll put pleasure to the test. I want to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. 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 "Laughter is foolish," I said. "And what can pleasure do for me?" 2 "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?"
3 I tried cheering myself up by drinking wine. I even tried living in a foolish way. But wisdom was still guiding my mind. I wanted to see what was really important for men to do on earth during the few days of their lives. 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 So I started some large projects. I built houses for myself. I planted vineyards. 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
5 I made gardens and parks. I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6 I made lakes to water groves of healthy trees. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
7 I bought male and female slaves. And I had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem ever had before. 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 stored up silver and gold for myself. I gathered up the treasures of kings and their kingdoms. I got some male and female singers. I also got many women for myself. Women delight the hearts of men. 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 I became far more important than anyone in Jerusalem had ever been before. And in spite of everything, I didn't lose my wisdom. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I gave myself everything my eyes wanted. There wasn't any pleasure that I refused to give myself. I took delight in everything I did. And that was what I got for all of my 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 then I looked over everything my hands had done. I saw what I had worked so hard to get. And nothing had any meaning. It was like chasing the wind. Nothing was gained on this earth. 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 I decided to think about wisdom. I also thought about foolish pleasure. What more can a new king do? Can he do anything more than others have already 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 better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness. 13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
14 The eyes of a wise man see things clearly. A person who is foolish lives in darkness. But I finally realized that death catches up with 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 Then I thought, "What happens to a foolish person will catch up with me too. So what do I gain by being wise?" I said to myself, "That doesn't have any meaning either." 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 Like a foolish person, a wise man won't be remembered very long. In days to come, both of them will be forgotten. Like a person who is foolish, a wise man must die too! 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. That's because the work that is done on this earth made me sad. None of it has any meaning. It's like chasing the 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 I hated everything I had worked for on earth. I'll have to leave all of it to someone who lives 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 he will be wise or foolish? Either way, he'll take over everything on earth I've worked so hard for. That doesn't have any meaning either. 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 I began to lose hope because of all of my hard work on this earth. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.
21 A man might use wisdom, knowledge and skill to do his work. But then he has to leave everything he owns to someone who hasn't worked for it. That doesn't have any meaning either. In fact, it isn't fair. 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 of his hard work on earth? What does he get for all of his worries? 22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?
23 As long as he lives, his work is nothing but pain and sorrow. Even at night his mind can't rest. That doesn't have any meaning either. 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 A man can't do anything better than eat and drink and be satisfied with his work. I'm finally seeing that those things also come 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 Without his help, who can eat or find pleasure? 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
26 God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness to a man who pleases him. But to a sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth. Then the sinner must hand it over to the one who pleases God. That doesn't have any meaning either. It's like chasing the 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.