English Standard Version

Ecclesiastes 2:1–11

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The Vanity of Self-Indulgence

I xsaid in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.1 I ysaid of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I zsearched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on afolly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I bbuilt houses and planted cvineyards for myself. I made myself dgardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had eslaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of fherds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and ggold and the treasure of hkings and iprovinces. I got jsingers, both men and women, and many kconcubines,2 the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and lsurpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my lwisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart mfound pleasure in all my toil, and this was my nreward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was ovanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing pto be gained under the sun.

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x
1

The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verses 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26 (see note on 1:2)

y
z

[ch. 1:17]

a

ch. 7:25

b
c
d
e
f
g
h
i
j
k
2

The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain

l

1 Chr. 29:25; See ch. 1:16

m
n

ch. 3:22; 5:18; 9:9

o

See ch. 1:14

p

See ch. 1:3

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