1 Come, then, I said in my heart, I will have a taste of joy, and thou shalt see what is good; but, behold, this also was vanity.
2 Of laughter I said, It maketh one mad: and of joy, What doth this do?
3 I resolved in my heart to indulge my body with wine, while my heart guideth itself with wisdom; and to lay fast hold on folly, till I might see what it is that is good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heavens during the number of the days of their life.
4 I made great works: I built myself houses; I planted myself vineyards;
5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted therein trees of all kinds of fruit;
6 I made myself pools of water, to water therewith the forest overgrown with trees;
7 I bought menservants and maidservants, and I had likewise those born in my house; I had also great possessions of cattle and flocks above all that had been before me in Jerusalem.
8 I gathered unto myself also silver and gold, and the choice treasures of kings and of the provinces: I procured myself male singers and female singers, and the delights of the sons of men, wagons and chariots.
9 So was I great, and obtained more than all that had been before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
10 And whatsoever my eyes desired I refused them not; I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart was rejoiced with all my toil, and this was my portion of all my toil.
11 But when I turned myself to look on all my works that my hands had wrought, and on the toil that I had toiled to accomplish: then, behold, all was vanity and a torture of the spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
12 And then I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly; for what can the man do that cometh after the king? only that which others have done already.
13 But I saw indeed that wisdom hath the advantage over folly, as great as the advantage of light over darkness.
14 The wise man hath his eyes in his head, while the fool walketh in darkness; but I myself perceived then also that one occurrence will befall all of them.
15 Then said I in my heart, The same that befalleth the fool will also befall even me: and why have I then been wiser? Then spoke I in my heart, that this is also vanity.
16 For there is no recollection of the wise any more than of the fool for ever: seeing that which hath long ago been will, in the days that are coming, all be forgotten. And how doth the wise die equally with the fool!
17 Therefore I hated life; because I felt displeased with the work that is wrought under the sun; for all is vanity and a torture of the spirit.
18 Yea, I hated also all my toil with which I had toiled under the sun; because I should have to leave it unto the man that will be after me.
19 And who knoweth, whether he will be a wise man or a fool? yet will he have full sway over all my toil wherein I have toiled, and wherein I have shown myself wise under the sun. Also this is vanity.
20 Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to give up thinking of all the toil wherewith I had toiled under the sun.
21 For there is many a man whose toil is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and with energy; yet to a man that hath not toiled therefore must he give it as his portion. Also this is vanity and a great evil.
22 For what doth a man obtain of all his toil, and of the torture of his heart, wherewith he toileth under the sun?
23 For all his days are full of pains, and vexation is mingled with his employment: yea, even in the night his heart taketh not rest. Also this is vanity.
24 It is not a good thing inherent in man that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy happiness for his toil. Also this have I seen, that it cometh out of the hand of God.
25 For who can well eat, or who can enjoy earthly things more than I?
26 For to a man who is good in his presence God giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he giveth employment, to gather up and to bring together, that he may give it to him that is good before God. Also this is vanity and a torture of the spirit.