1
¶ I SAID to my heart, Come now, I will prove you with joy;
therefore enjoy good things;
and, behold, this also is vanity.
2
I said of laughter, What pleasure is there in it?
and of mirth, What do you accomplish?
3
I thought in my heart to give myself to wine, but my heart reasoned with wisdom;
and I laid hold upon understanding, till I might see what was good for the sons of men, which they should do under the sun all the days of their lives.
4
I multiplied my servants;
I built myself houses;
I planted vineyards for myself:
5
I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them trees of all kinds of fruit;
6
I made myself pools of water, to irrigate the nursery that produces trees.
7
I got for myself menservants and maidservants, and had a great household;
also I had great possessions of cattle and flocks, above all who were before me in Jerusalem.
8
I gathered for myself silver and gold and the possessions of kings and cities;
I got me men singers and women singers and the delights of the sons of men, and I appointed for myself butlers and waitresses.
9
So I became great, and my wealth increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem;
my wisdom also remained with me.
10
And whatsoever my eyes desired I did not keep from them;
I withheld not my heart from any joy;
for my heart rejoiced in all my labor;
and this was my portion of all my labor.
11
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought and on the labor that I had labored to do;
and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
12
¶ So I looked around to behold wisdom and transgression and folly;
for who is the man who can enter into judgment with the king?
Especially with him who had created him.
13
Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, just as light excels darkness.
14
The wise man’s eyes are in his head;
but the fool walks in darkness;
and I myself perceived also that one misfortune happens to them all.
15
Then I said in my heart, The misfortune of the fool will happen to me also;
and why was I then more wise?
Then I said in my heart, This also is vanity.
16
The fool speaks superficially, but there is no remembrance of the wise man more than of the fool for ever;
seeing that which now is, in the days to come shall be forgotten.
And just as the wise man dies, so the fool.
17
Therefore I hated life;
because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous to me;
for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
18
Yea, I hated all my labor with which I had labored under the sun because I must leave it to the man who shall come after me.
19
And who knows whether he shall be a wise man or a fool?
Yet he will have rule over all my labor wherein I have labored, and wherein I have shown myself wise under the sun.
This also is vanity.
20
Therefore I changed my view concerning all the toil in which I had labored under the sun.
21
There is a man who labors with wisdom and knowledge and success;
and yet he leaves his portion to a man who has not labored for it.
This also is vanity and a great misfortune.
22
For what profit shall a man have of all his labor and of the desire of his heart wherein he has labored under the sun?
23
For all his days are full of sorrows, and his travail is grief;
yea, even in the night his heart takes no rest.
This also is vanity.
24
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 labor.
This also I saw, that it is from the hand of the LORD.
25
For who can eat or who can drink except he?
26
For, to a man who is good in his presence, God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy;
but to the sinner he gives toil, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who is good in the presence of the LORD.
This also is vanity and vexation of spirit,