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The Blue Letter Bible

Ecclesiastes 2 :: New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB95)

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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 madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:3 - I explored with my [fn]mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my [fn]mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men [fn]to do under heaven 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]homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:8 - Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of menmany 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 withhold 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 - Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had [fn]exerted, and behold all was [fn]vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

Wisdom Excels Folly

Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:12 - So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done?
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:13 - And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:14 - The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:15 - Then I said [fn]to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So [fn]I said to myself, “This too is vanity.”
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:16 - For there is no [fn]lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man 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]grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

The Futility of Labor

Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:18 - Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:19 - And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have [fn]control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:20 - Therefore I [fn]completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:21 - When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his [fn]legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:22 - For what does a man 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 task is painful and grievous; even at night his [fn]mind does not rest. This too is vanity.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 2:24 - There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and [fn]tell himself that his labor is good. This also 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 vanity and striving after wind.
NASB95 Footnotes
Literally: in my heart
Literally: consider with goodness
Literally: heart
Literally: which they do
Literally: days
Literally: sons of the house
Literally: labored to do
Or, futility, and so throughout the chapter
Literally: in my heart
Literally: I spoke in my heart
Literally: forever
Literally: evil
Literally: dominion
Literally: turned aside my heart to despair
Literally: share
Literally: the striving of his heart
Literally: heart
Literally: cause his soul to see good in his labor
So Gr; Heb me

New American Standard Bible 1995
Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995
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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