I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy good things; and, behold, this also is vanity.
I said of laughter, It is mad, and of mirth, What does it do?
I proposed in my heart to regale my flesh with wine and that my heart would walk in wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, until I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
I made myself great works; I built myself houses; I planted myself vineyards;
I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits;
I made myself pools of water, to water with them the forest that brings forth trees;
I got myself slaves and maidens and had sons born in my house; also I had great possessions of cattle and sheep above all that were in Jerusalem before me;
I gathered unto myself also silver and gold and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces; I obtained men singers and women singers and all the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and those of all sorts.
So I was great and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem, and more than that, my wisdom remained with me.
And 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 labour, and this was my portion of all my labour.
At last I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought and on the labour that I had laboured to do; and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
And I turned myself to behold wisdom and those who are mad, and folly; for what can the man do that comes after the king? even that which has already been done.
And I have seen that wisdom excels folly as far as light excels darkness.
The wise man has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness: And I myself also understood that one event happens to the one and to the other.
Then I said in my heart, As it shall happen to the fool, so it shall happen even to me. Why have I worked until now to make myself wiser? Then I said in my heart that this also is vanity.
For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever, seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And also the wise man shall die the same as the fool.
Therefore I hated life because every work that is wrought under the sun was grievous unto me; for all was vanity and vexation of spirit.
Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun, which I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
And who knows whether he shall be a wise man or a fool, he who shall have rule over all my labour in which I have laboured and in which I have showed myself wise under the sun? This is also vanity.
Therefore my heart began to despair again regarding all the labour which I took under the sun.
That the man who worked with wisdom and with knowledge and with uprightness would have to leave his portion to a man that has not laboured therein. This also is vanity and a great evil.
For what does man have of all his labour and of the vexation of his heart in which he has laboured under the sun?
For all his days are only sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart does not take rest in the night. This is also vanity.
There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. I also have seen that this is from the hand of God.
For who can eat, or who can care for himself better than I?
For God gives to the man that is good in his sight wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to the one that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.