Ecclesiastes 2:1–11

Qohelet’s Investigation of Self-Indulgence

2 I said to myself,a “Come! I will testb pleasure to see whether it is worthwhile.”c But look, “This also is vanity!” I said of laughter, “It is folly!” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?d I also explorede the effects of indulging my fleshf with wine. My mind guiding me with wisdom, I investigatedg folly so that I might discover what is good under heavenh for humansi to do during the days of their lives.j

Qohelet’s Investigation of Personal Accomplishment

I accomplished great things.k I built for myself houses; I planted for myself vineyards. I made for myself gardens and parks, and I planted all sorts of fruit trees in them. I made for myself pools of water from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees. I acquired male slaves and female slaves, as well as children born in my house. I also had livestock, cattle, and flocks more than anyone who was before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered to myself silver and gold—the royal and provincial treasuries. I acquired for myself male and female singers, as well as the delight of men,l voluptuous concubines.m

Thus, I accomplished far moren than anyone who was before me in Jerusalem—indeed, my wisdom stood by me. 10 I neither withheld anything from my eyes that they desired, nor did I deprive any pleasure from my heart. My heart rejoiced in all my toil, for this was my reward from all my toil. 11 Yet when I consideredo all the effort which I expended and the toil with which I toiled to do, then behold, “Everything is vanity and chasing wind! There is nothing profitable under the sun!”

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