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The Blue Letter Bible

Ecclesiastes 2 :: New American Standard Bible 2020 (NASB20)

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The Futility of Pleasure and Possessions

(cf. 1Ki 4:20–28 )
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:1 - I said [fn]to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So [fn]enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:2 - I said of laughter, “It is senseless,” and of pleasure, “What does this accomplish?”
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:3 - I explored with my [fn]mind how to refresh my body with wine while my [fn]mind was guiding me wisely; and how to seize foolishness, until I could see what good there is for the sons of mankind [fn]to do under heaven for the few [fn]years of their lives.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:4 - I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself;
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:5 - I made gardens and parks for myself, and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees;
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:6 - I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:7 - I bought male and female slaves, and I had [fn]slaves born at home. I also possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:8 - I also amassed for myself silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers, and the pleasures of the sons of mankind: many concubines.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:9 - Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:10 - All that my eyes desired, I did not refuse them. I did not restrain my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor; and this was my reward for all my labor.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:11 - So I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had [fn]exerted, and behold, all was futility and striving after wind, and there was no benefit under the sun.

Wisdom Surpasses Foolishness

Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:12 - So I turned to consider wisdom, insanity, and foolishness; for what will the man do who will come after the king, except what has already been done?
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:13 - Then I saw that wisdom surpasses foolishness as light surpasses darkness.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:14 - The wise person’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one and the same fate happens to [fn]both of them.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:15 - Then I said [fn]to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also happen to me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So [fn]I said to myself, “This too is futility.”
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:16 - For there is no [fn]lasting remembrance of the wise, along with the fool, since in the coming days everything will [fn]soon be forgotten. And how the wise and the fool alike die!
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:17 - So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was [fn]unhappy to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

The Futility of Labor

Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:18 - So I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:19 - And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is futility.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:20 - Therefore I [fn]completely despaired over all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:21 - When there is a person who has labored with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and then gives his [fn]legacy to one who has not labored for it; this too is futility and a great evil.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:22 - For what does a person get in all his labor and in [fn]his striving with which he labors under the sun?
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:23 - Because all his days his activity is painful and irritating; even at night his [fn]mind does not rest. This too is futility.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:24 - There is nothing better for a person than to eat and drink, and show [fn]himself some good in his trouble. This too I have seen, that it is from the hand of God.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:25 - For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without [fn]Him?
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:26 - For to a person who is good in His sight, He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is futility and striving after wind.
NASB20 Footnotes
Lit in my heart
Lit consider with goodness
Lit heart
Lit heart
Lit which they do
Lit days
Lit sons
Lit labored to do
Lit all of
Lit in my heart
Lit I spoke in my heart
Lit forever
Lit already
Lit evil
Lit turned aside my heart to despair
Lit share
Lit the striving of his heart
Lit heart
Lit his soul
As in LXX; Heb me

New American Standard Bible 2020
Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995, 2020
by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.
All rights reserved

The "NASB," "NAS," "New American Standard Bible," and "New American Standard" trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by The Lockman Foundation. Use of these trademarks requires the permission of The Lockman Foundation.

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