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Ecclesiastes 2 NKJV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure"; but surely, 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--"Madness!"; and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?" 2 "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?"
3 I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the 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 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and 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 myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
7 I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks 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 also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. 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 great and excelled more than all who 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 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward 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 done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. 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 Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; For what can the man do who succeeds the king?-- Only what he has 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 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly As light excels 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, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens 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 So I said in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart, "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 there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? 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 Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for 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 Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come 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 a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown 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 my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled 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, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. 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 has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled 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 sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes 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 Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, 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 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I? 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
26 For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for 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.