Ecclesiastes/Qohelet - 2

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1I thought to myself, 'Very wel , I wil try pleasure and see what enjoyment has to offer.' And this wasfutile too. 2This laughter, I reflected, is a madness, this pleasure no use at al . 3I decided to hand my body over to drinking wine, my mind still guiding me in wisdom; I resolved toembrace folly, to discover the best way for people to spend their days under the sun. 4I worked on a grand scale: built myself palaces, planted vineyards; 5made myself gardens and orchards, planting every kind of fruit tree in them; 6had pools made for watering the young trees of my plantations. 7I bought slaves, male and female, had home-born slaves as wel ; herds and flocks I had too, more thananyone in Jerusalem before me. 8I amassed silver and gold, the treasures of kings and provinces; acquired singers, men and women,and every human luxury, chest upon chest of it. 9So I grew great, greater than anyone in Jerusalem before me; nor did my wisdom leave me. 10I denied my eyes nothing that they desired, refused my heart no pleasure, for I found all my hard worka pleasure, such was the return for al my efforts. 11I then reflected on al that my hands had achieved and all the effort I had put into its achieving. Whatfutility it al was, what chasing after the wind! There is nothing to be gained under the sun. 12My reflections then turned to wisdom, stupidity and fol y. For instance, what can the successor of aking do? What has been done already. 13More is to be gained from wisdom than from fol y, just as one gains more from light than fromdarkness; this, of course, I see: 14The wise have their eyes open, the fool walks in the dark. No doubt! But I know, too, that one fateawaits them both. 15'Since the fool's fate', I thought to myself, 'will be my fate too, what is the point of my having beenwise?' I realised that this too is futile. 16For there is no lasting memory for the wise or the fool, and in the days to come both will be forgotten;the wise, no less than the fool, must die. 17Life I have come to hate, for what is done under the sun disgusts me, since al is futility and chasingafter the wind. 18All I have toiled for under the sun and now bequeath to my successor I have come to hate; 19who knows whether he wil be wise or a fool? Yet he wil be master of al the work into which I have putmy efforts and wisdom under the sun. That is futile too. 20I have come to despair of all the efforts I have expended under the sun. 21For here is one who has laboured wisely, skilfully and successful y and must leave what is his own tosomeone who has not toiled for it at al . This is futile too, and grossly unjust; 22for what does he gain for al the toil and strain that he has undergone under the sun- 23since his days are ful of sorrow, his work is ful of stress and even at night he has no peace of mind?This is futile too. 24There is no happiness except in eating and drinking, and in enjoying one's achievements; and I seethat this too comes from God's hand; 25for who would get anything to eat or drink, unless al this came from him? 26Wisdom, knowledge and joy, God gives to those who please him, but on the sinner he lays the task ofgathering and storing up for someone else who is pleasing to him. This too is futility and chasing after the wind.
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