Chapter 2

The Futility of Pleasure and Possessions

1 I said 1to myself, “Come now, I will test you with apleasure. So 2enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility.

2 aI said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”

3 I explored with my 1mind how to astimulate my body with wine while my 1mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of bfolly, until I could see cwhat good there is for the sons of men 2to do under heaven the few 3years of their lives.

4 I enlarged my works: I abuilt houses for myself, I planted bvineyards for myself;

5 I made agardens and bparks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees;

6 I made aponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees.

7 I bought male and female slaves and I had 1ahomeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and bherds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.

8 Also, I collected for myself silver and agold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself bmale and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines.

9 Then I became agreat and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me.

10 aAll that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my breward for all my labor.

11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had 1exerted, and behold all was 2avanity and striving after wind and there was bno profit under the sun.

Wisdom Excels Folly

12 So I turned to aconsider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except bwhat has already been done?

13 And I saw that awisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.

14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the afool walks in darkness. And yet I know that bone fate befalls them both.

15 Then I said 1to myself, “aAs is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. bWhy then have I been extremely wise?” So 2I said to myself, “This too is vanity.”

16 For there is ano 1lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And bhow the wise man and the fool alike die!

17 So I ahated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was 1grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

The Futility of Labor

18 Thus I hated aall the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must bleave it to the man who will come after me.

19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or aa fool? Yet he will have 1control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is bvanity.

20 Therefore I 1completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

21 When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and askill, then he bgives his 1legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil.

22 For what does a man get in aall his labor and in 1his striving with which he labors under the sun?

23 Because all his days his task is painful and agrievous; even at night his 1mind bdoes not rest. This too is vanity.

24 There is anothing better for a man than to eat and drink and 1tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is bfrom the hand of God.

25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without 1Him?

26 For to a person who is good in His sight aHe has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may bgive to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is cvanity and striving after wind.


About New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update

The New American Standard Bible, long considered a favorite study Bible by serious students of the Scriptures, has been completely revised and updated in this new 1995 translation. Preserving the Lockman Foundation's standard of creating a literal translation of the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic manuscripts, the 1995 NASB provides a literal translation that is very readable. Formalized language and outdated words and phrases have been replaced with their contemporary counterparts. In short, the 1995 NASB is a Bible translation that is very conducive to word-by-word study and is also able to be read (and understood) by the whole family.


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