1 I said in my heart, »Come now, I will test you with rejoicing. Consider goodness.« This also is vanity.
2 I said of laughter: »It is madness. And of pleasure: What does it do?«
3 I searched in my mind how to stimulate my flesh with wine. My mind guided my heart with wisdom. I possessed foolishness until I could see what was good for the sons of men. I saw what they should do under the heavens all the days of their life.
4 I made great works. I built houses for myself. I planted vineyards for myself.
5 I made myself parks and fruit gardens, planting in them fruit-trees of all kinds.
6 I made water pools from which to water the young trees.
7 I acquired male and female servants, and they gave birth to sons and daughters in my house. I had great wealth of herds and flocks, more than all who were in Jerusalem before me.
8 I gathered silver and gold and the wealth of kings and of countries. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, girls of all sorts to be my brides.
9 I became great and increased more than all who had been before me in Jerusalem and my wisdom remained with me.
10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold joy from my heart. My heart took pleasure in all my work and this was my reward.
11 I looked at all the works my hands accomplished. I saw everything I had worked to do. I saw that all was vanity and grasping for the wind. It was to no purpose for there was no profit under the sun.
12 I went again in search of wisdom and of foolish ways. What can the man do that comes after the king? Only what he has already done.
13 Then I saw that wisdom is better than foolish ways just as the light is better than the dark.
14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, but the foolish man walks in darkness. Yet I saw that the same event happens to them all.
15 Then I said in my heart: »As it happens to the fool, so it will happen to me. Why have I been so wise?« Then I said in my heart: »This also is vanity.«
16 Neither the wise man nor the foolish man will be remembered for long. All that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. Death comes to both the wise and the foolish.
17 I hated life. Everything under the sun was evil to me. All is vanity and grasping for the wind.
18 I hated all the work I had done under the sun, because I would leave it behind for the man who comes after me.
19 Who knows if he will be a wise man or a fool? But he will have power over all the work that I have done and in which I have been wise under the sun. This too is vanity.
20 My heart turned to grief over all for which I had labored and all my wisdom under the sun.
21 Because there is a man whose work has been done with wisdom, with knowledge, and with an expert hand. But one who has done nothing for it will have it for his heritage. This also is vanity and a great evil.
22 What does a man get for all his work, and for the desire of his heart with which he has done his work under the sun?
23 All his days are sorrow, and his work is full of grief. Even in the night his heart has no rest. This again is vanity.
24 There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink, and delight in his work. This also I saw was from the hand of God.
25 After all, who eats and who drinks better than I?
26 To the man who is good, God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy. But to the sinner he gives the work of getting goods together and storing up wealth, to give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.