Ecclesiastes 2 ©
Solomon shows by his own example that true happiness consists not in the things that are pleasing to the flesh, as stately buildings, planting of trees, vineyards, gardens, vs. 1, 2, etc. but in a quiet cheerful enjoyment of the mercies which God has given unto men, 24, etc.
I SAID in mine heart, 1Go to now, 2I will prove thee with mirth, therefore 3enjoya pleasure: and, behold, this 4also is vanity.
I said 5of laughter, It is mad: and of 6mirth, 7What doeth it?
I 8sought 9in mine heart 10to give 11myself unto wine, 12yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till 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.
13I made me great 14works; I builded me houses; I planted me 15vineyards:
I made me 16gardens and 17orchards, and I planted trees in them 18of all kind of fruits:
I made me 19pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
20I got me servants and maidens, and had 21servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small 22cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
23I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure 24of kings and of the provinces: 25I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as 26musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also 27my wisdom 28remained with me.
And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced 29in all my labour: and 30this was my portion of all my labour.
Then 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 31vexation of spirit, and there was no profit 32under the sun.
¶ 33Andb I turned myself 34to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for 35what can the man do that cometh after 36the king? even that which hath been already done.
37Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
38The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool 39walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also 40that one event happeneth to 41them all.
42Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it 43happeneth even to me; and 44why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
45For 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 46how dieth the wise man? 47as the fool.
Therefore I 48hated life; because the work 49that is wrought under the sun is 50grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
¶Yea, 51I hated all 52my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man 53that shall be after me.
And 54who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule 55over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.
Therefore I 56went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
For 57there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave 58it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great 59evil.
Forc what hath 60man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?
For all his days 61are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
¶ 62Thered is 63nothing better for a man, than 64that he should eat and drink, and that he should make 65his soul 66enjoy good 67in his labour. This also I saw, 68that it was from the hand of God.
For 69who can eat, or who else can hasten 70hereunto, more than I?
For 71God giveth to a man that is 72good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to 73the sinner he giveth travail, 74to gather and to heap up, thate he may give to him that is good 75before God. 76This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.