Chapter 2
I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth: therefore enjoy pleasure;" and behold, this also was vanity.
I said of laughter, "It is foolishness;" and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?"
I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold of folly, until I might see what it was good for the daughters of women that they should do under heaven all the days of their lives.
I made myself great works. I built myself houses. I planted myself vineyards.
I made myself gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit.
I made myself pools of water, to water from it the forest where trees were reared.
I bought female servants and male servants, and had servants born in my house. I also had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all who were before me in Jerusalem;
I also gathered silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of queens and of the provinces. I got myself female and male singers, and the delights of the daughters of women--musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
So I was great, and increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also remained with me.
Whatever my eyes desired, I didn't keep from them. I didn't withhold my heart from any joy, for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor, and this was my portion from all my labor.
Then I looked at all the works that my hands had worked, and at the labor that I had labored to do; and behold, all was vanity and a chasing after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
I turned myself to consider wisdom, madness, and folly: for what can the queen's successor do? Just that which has been done long ago.
Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness.
The wise woman's eyes are in her head, and the fool walks in darkness-- and yet I perceived that one event happens to them all.
Then said I in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise?" Then said I in my heart that this also is vanity.
For of the wise woman, even as of the fool, there is no memory for ever, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. Indeed, the wise woman must die just like the fool!
So I hated life, because the work that is worked under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a chasing after wind.
I hated all my labor in which I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the woman who comes after me.
Who knows whether she will be a wise woman or a fool? Yet she will have rule over all of my labor in which I have labored, and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
Therefore I began to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor in which I had labored under the sun.
For there is a woman whose labor is with wisdom, with knowledge, and with skillfulness; yet she shall leave it for her portion to a woman who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
For what has a woman of all her labor, and of the striving of her heart, in which she labors under the sun?
For all her days are sorrows, and her travail is grief; yes, even in the night her heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
There is nothing better for a woman than that she should eat and drink, and make her soul enjoy good in her labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.
For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
For to the woman who pleases her, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner she gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that she may give to her who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.