1I said in my heart, “Come, now, I will try thee with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure!” But, lo! this also was vanity.
2I said of laughter, “It is mad;” and of mirth, “What availeth it?”
3I thought in my heart to strengthen my body with wine, and, while my heart cleaved to wisdom, to lay hold on folly, till I should see what was good for the sons of men, which they should do under heaven all the days of their life.
4I made me great works. I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards.
5I made me gardens and parks, and planted in them fruit-trees of every kind.
6I made me pools of water, with which to water the grove shooting up trees.
7I got me men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than all who were in Jerusalem before me.
8I heaped me up also silver and gold, and the wealth of kings and of provinces. I got me men-singers and women-singers, and the delight of the sons of men, a chosen woman and chosen women.
9So I became greater than all that were before me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also remained with me.
10And whatever mine eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy. For my heart rejoiced by means of all my labor, and this was my portion from all my labor.
11Then I looked upon all the works which my hands had wrought, and upon all the labor which I had toiled in performing; and, behold, it was all vanity, and striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
12Then I turned myself to behold wisdom and senselessness and folly. For what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
13I saw, indeed, that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
14The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the fool walketh in darkness; yet I perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
15Then I said in my heart, “As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth to me. Why, then, became I wiser than others?” Then I said in my heart, “This also is vanity.”
16For there is no remembrance of the wise man more than of the fool for ever; for in the days to come shall all have long been forgotten; and, alas! the wise man dieth, as well as the fool.
17Therefore I hated life, because what is done under the sun appeared evil to me. For all is vanity, and striving after wind.
18Yea, I hated all my labor which I had performed under the sun, because I must leave it to the man that shall be after me.
19And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? Yet shall he be lord of all the labor with which I have wearied myself, and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
20Therefore I turned to give up my heart to despair in regard to all the labor with which I had wearied myself under the sun.
21For there is a man whose labor has been with wisdom and knowledge and skill; yet to a man who hath not labored for it must he leave it as his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
22For what hath man of all his labor, and the striving of his spirit, with which he wearieth himself under the sun?
23For all his days are grief, and his occupation trouble; even in the night his heart taketh no rest. This also is vanity.
24There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink, and let his soul enjoy good in his labor. But this, as I have seen, cometh from the hand of God.
25For who can eat, or hasten thereunto more than I?
26For to a man who is good in his sight God giveth wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he giveth the wearisome business of gathering and heaping up, to give it to him who is good before God. This also is vanity, and striving after wind.