I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also was vanity.
I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What doeth it?
I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding [me] with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life.
I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards;
I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit;
I made me pools of water, to water therefrom the forest where trees were reared;
I bought men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem;
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces; I gat me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not 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 on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
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 done long ago.
Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
The wise man's eyes are in his head, and the fool walketh in darkness: and yet I perceived that one event happeneth to them all.
Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth 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 man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance for ever; seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. And how doth the wise man die even as the fool!
So I hated life, because the work that is wrought under the sun was grievous unto me; for all is vanity and a striving after wind.
And I hated all my labor wherein I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
And who knoweth whether he will be a wise man or a fool? yet will he have rule over all my labor wherein I have labored, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor wherein I had labored under the sun.
For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skilfulness; yet to a man that hath not labored therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
For what hath a man of all his labor, and of the striving of his heart, wherein he laboreth under the sun?
For all his days are [but] sorrows, and his travail is grief; yea, even in the night his heart taketh no rest. This also is vanity.
There is nothing better for a man [than] that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his 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 man that pleaseth him [God] giveth 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 pleaseth God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
1 [To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil.] We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.
2 How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.
3 For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.
4 Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.
5 Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.
7 But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.
8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.
9 But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.
10 Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.
11 Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.
12 Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.
13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.
15 My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me,
16 For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.
17 All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant.
18 Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;
19 Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.
20 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god;
21 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.
22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever.
24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?
25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth.
26 Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake.