how to pamper my flesh with wine, and, my heart conducting itself with wisdom, how yet to lay hold on folly, till I might see which it was best for the sons of men that they should do under the heaven the few days of their life. 4I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards; 5I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit; 6I made me pools of water, to water therefrom the wood springing up with trees; 7I acquired men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem; 8I gathered me also silver and gold, and treasure such as kings and the provinces have as their own; I got me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, women very many. 9So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom stood me in stead. 10And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy, for my heart had joy of all my labour; and this was my portion from all my labour. 11Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
12And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness and folly; for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done. 13Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
- 14The wise man, his eyes are in his head;
- But the fool walketh in darkness.
And I also perceived that one event happeneth to them all. 15Then said I in my heart: 'As it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise?' Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. 16For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance for ever; seeing that in the days to come all will long ago have been forgotten. And how must the wise man die even as the fool! 17So I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun was grievous unto me; for all is vanity and a striving after wind.
18And I hated all my labour wherein I laboured under the sun, seeing that I must leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 19And who knoweth whether he will be a wise man or a fool? yet will he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. 20Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labour wherein I had laboured under the sun. 21For there is a man whose labour is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skill; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22For what hath a man of all his labour, and of the striving of his heart, wherein he laboureth under the sun? 23For all his days are pains, and his occupation vexation; yea, even in the night his heart taketh not rest. This also is vanity.
24There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy pleasure for his labour. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God. 25For who will eat, or who will enjoy, if not I?