Ecclesiastes 2

I sought pleasure 1
But it was vanity 9
Comparison with the fool  12
My labor will be left to another  18
It is good to work and enjoy the results; God gives wisdom  24
.1 ¶ I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
 2  I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
 3  I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
.4  I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:
 5  I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
  1 - "I thought in my heart, 'Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.' but that also proved to be meaningless." (NIV) In looking for pleasure we don't tend to ask for advice about the risks. See God's way in pr0305.
  3 - To give myself unto wine Better translated "To refresh my body with wine."
  3 - Myself From besari Literally, "my flesh" or the physical nature
  3 - Wine From yayin, See on ge0921, nu2807 or in the sanctuary, ex2940, le2313, nu1505, nu2814. Solomon was like a vehicle that was pulled with his drinking.
.6  I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
 7  I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
.8  I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
  6 - Pools Solomon built reservoirs for the dry land of Palestine ne0214. See on 2ch1106 and following.
  7 - He probably had slave labor 2ch0808. The "great and small cattle" should be translated "herds and flocks."
  8 - Silver and gold See 1ki0928, 1ki1014-27, 2ch0115, 2ch0920-27. Hezekiah had to give up wealth by his foolish display of it 2ki1814-16, 2ki2013.
.9  So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
 10  And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
 11  Then 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 vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
  9 - Great ... more Concerning desirable things ge2435, jb0103, 1ki1023.
  9 - Wisdom remained ec0203.
  10 - Kept not from them Not a good idea even for those able to buy anything they want mt0633.
.12 ¶ And 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.
 13  Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
 14  The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
  12 - Wisdom ... folly Death is the end for both v14. A fool may receive the results of working for wealth ec0218. All is vanity ec0222 (below). Even his wisdom noted in verse 9 is unimportant.
 15  Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
 16  For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
 17 ¶ Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
  15 - Why was I more wise? Having been wise would be of no value when dead as we see in the next verse.
  17 - Hated life Depression.
.18  Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
 19  And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.
 20  Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
.21  For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
.22  For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?
 23  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
  18, 19 - All my labor "One hope alone was left to the disappointed worldling, the perpetuation of his name and riches, laboriously gathered, through his successor. For selfishness is mostly at the root of worldly parents' alleged providence for their children. But now the remembrance of how he himself, the piously reared child of David, had disregarded his father's dying charge (1Ch 28:9), suggested the sad misgivings as to what Rehoboam, his son by an idolatrous Ammonitess, Naamah, should prove to be; a foreboding too fully realized (1Ki 12:1-18; 14:21-31)" (JFB)
  23 - For all his days What has he gained? Only sorrow and sleepless nights.
.24  There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.
 25  For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?
 26  For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
  24 - Enjoy There is a bright side. Work hard and enjoy the results.
  25 - Hasten Compare: For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I? (NKJV)
  26 - Sinner ... to gather He may gather wealth but not use it in a way that brings salvation. Also mt1312, mt2528, lu1220.


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