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Ecclesiastes 2:1–11

Pleasures Are Meaningless

2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasurew to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,”x I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine,y and embracing follyz—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.

I undertook great projects: I built houses for myselfa and planted vineyards.b I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slavesc who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and goldd for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.e I acquired male and female singers,f and a harema as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalemg before me.h In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;

I refused my heart no pleasure.

My heart took delight in all my labor,

and this was the reward for all my toil.

11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done

and what I had toiled to achieve,

everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;i

nothing was gained under the sun.j

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