Ecclesiastes, Chapter 2

I said in my heart, Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore consider and behold goodness; this also [is] vanity.

I said of laughter, [It is] madness; and of mirth, What does it do?

I sought in my heart to drag my flesh with wine, yet leading my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, until I might see where the good for the sons of men might be, what they should do under the heavens all the days of their life.

I made my works great; I built houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself.

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I made gardens and orchards for myself, And I planted trees in them, of all fruit.

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I made pools of water for myself, to water the forest shooting forth trees.

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I bought slaves and slave women, and sons of the house were mine; also livestock, a herd and a great flock were mine, above all that were before me in Jerusalem.

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I also gathered silver and gold to myself, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got men singers and women singers for myself, and the delights of the sons of men, a wife and very many wives.

I was great and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom remained with me.

And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them; I did not withhold my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my part of all my labor.

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit; and [there is] no profit under the sun.

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And I turned to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly; for what [can] the man [do] who comes after the king, when they have already done it?

Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness.

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The wise man's eyes [are] in his head; but the fool walks in darkness; and I also knew that one event happens to all of them.

Then I said in my heart, As it happens to the fool, [so] it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise? And I said in my heart that this also [is] vanity.

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For [there is] no memory of the wise [more than] of the fool forever, since that which is now shall all be forgotten in the days to come. And how does the wise die above the fool!

Therefore I hated life; because the work that is done under the sun [is] sad to me; for all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.

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Yes, I hated all my labor which I had done under the sun; that I must leave it to the man who shall be after me.

And who knows [whether] he shall be wise or a fool? Yet he shall have rule over all my labor in which I have labored, and acted wisely under the sun. This [is] also vanity.

And I turned to cause my heart to despair over all the labor which I did under the sun.

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When there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and with success; yet to a man who has not labored in it, he shall leave it [for] his share. This also is vanity and a great evil.

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For what has man from all his labor, and from the troubling of his heart, in which he has labored under the sun?

For all his days [are] sorrows, and his labor sadness; yea, his heart does not take rest in the night. This [is] also vanity.

Is it not good that he should eat and drink and make his soul see good in his labor? This I also saw, that it [was] from the hand of God.

For who can eat, or who can enjoy, apart from me?

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For [God] gives wisdom, and knowledge, and joy to a man who [is] good in His sight. But to the sinner He gives labor, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to [him who is] good before God. This also [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.

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