Parallel Bible results for Ecclesiastes 2:1-25

New Living Translation

New International Version

Ecclesiastes 2:1-25

NLT 1 I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. NIV 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. NLT 2 So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” NIV 2 "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" NLT 3 After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world. NIV 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. NLT 4 I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. NIV 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. NLT 5 I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. NIV 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. NLT 6 I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. NIV 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. NLT 7 I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. NIV 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. NLT 8 I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire! NIV 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. NLT 9 So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. NIV 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. NLT 10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. NIV 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. NLT 11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. NIV 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. NLT 12 So I decided to compare wisdom with foolishness and madness (for who can do this better than I, the king? ). NIV 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? NLT 13 I thought, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness. NIV 13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. NLT 14 For the wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark.” Yet I saw that the wise and the foolish share the same fate. NIV 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. NLT 15 Both will die. So I said to myself, “Since I will end up the same as the fool, what’s the value of all my wisdom? This is all so meaningless!” NIV 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." NLT 16 For the wise and the foolish both die. The wise will not be remembered any longer than the fool. In the days to come, both will be forgotten. NIV 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! NLT 17 So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless—like chasing the wind. NIV 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. NLT 18 I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. NIV 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. NLT 19 And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! NIV 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. NLT 20 So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world. NIV 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. NLT 21 Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy. NIV 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. NLT 22 So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? NIV 22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? NLT 23 Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless. NIV 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless. NLT 24 So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. NIV 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, NLT 25 For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? NIV 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?