The FarAboveAll translation of the Old Testament from the Masoretic Hebrew and Aramaic (WLC). See details on

Version 0.33.7, 30 December 2022


Ecclesiastes Chapter 2

1I said in my heart, ‘Go now; I will test you with joy. And discern what is good.’ But behold, this is also vanity. 2To laughter I said, ‘It is foolish’, and to joy, ‘What is it doing?’ 3I purposed in my heart to invigorate my body with wine, yet familiarizing my heart with wisdom, and to lay hold of foolishness until I had seen what was good for the sons of Adam, for them to do under heaven for the number of the days of their life. 4I was great in my works – I built myself houses; I planted myself vineyards. 5I made gardens for myself, and parks, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I made pools of water for myself, with which to irrigate the orchard where the trees were growing. 7I acquired menservants and maidservants, and I had servants born in the household; I also had much livestock – oxen and sheep – more than anything there had been in Jerusalem before me. 8I also collected for myself silver and gold and what is particular to kings and states. I acquired for myself men singers and women singers and the delights of the sons of Adam, and mistresses one after another. 9And I became great and surpassed everyone who was before me in Jerusalem, and my wisdom stood me in good stead.

10And I did not deny my eyes anything they asked for;

I did not refuse my heart any pleasure,

For my heart obtained joy from all my toil,

And this was my portion of all my toil.

11And I turned to all my works

Which my hands had made,

And to the toil which I had toiled at by working,

And behold, it was all vanity and idle pursuit,

And there was no benefit under the sun.

12And I turned to look into wisdom,

And folly and foolishness,

For what will the man who comes after the king do?

Something that they have already done.

13And I saw that wisdom has more benefit than foolishness,

As light has more benefit than darkness.

14The wise man has his eyes in his head,

But the fool walks in darkness.

And I myself know that one event

Takes place with all of them.

15And I said in my heart,

‘As is the event with the fool,

So it will happen to me too.

So why then should I become wiser still?’

And I concluded

That this too was vanity.

16For there is no age-abiding remembrance of the wise

Any more than of the fool,

In that the days are already coming

When everything will be forgotten.

And how will the wise man die?

With the fool.

17And I hated life. For the matter which was done under the sun was baneful to me, because everything is vanity and idle pursuit. 18And I hated all my toil which I had toiled at under the sun, which I will leave to the man who comes after me. 19And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool when he rules over all my toil which I have toiled at, and which I was wise in under the sun? This too is vanity. 20Then I had reason to let my heart despair of all the toil which I had toiled at under the sun. 21For there is one man whose toil is in wisdom and knowledge and skill, but to another who has not toiled in this way he will legate a share. This too is vanity and a great evil. 22For what accrues to a man in all his toil and in his pursuit of his heart's desire at which he toils under the sun? 23For all his days are sorrows, and his affairs are an irritation. Moreover his heart does not rest at night. This too is vanity. 24There is nothing good in the fact that a man eats and drinks and provides himself with good things in his toil. I have seen this too – that it is from the hand of God. 25For who eats and who experiences pleasure more than me? 26For he gives a man who is good in his sight wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he gives a task of gathering and collecting things, to give to a good man before God. This too is vanity and idle pursuit.