Ecclesiastes 2:1-26, NLT
The Futility of Pleasure
1I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless.
4I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards.
9So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me.
The Wise and the Foolish
12So I decided to compare wisdom with foolishness and madness (for who can do this better than I, the king?*2:12 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.).
17So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
The Futility of Work
18I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned.
21Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy.
24So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.