Ecclesiastes 2 Names of God Bible (NOG)
The Spokesman Studies Laughter
2 I thought to myself, “Now I want to experiment with pleasure and enjoy myself.” But even this was pointless.
2 I thought, “Laughter doesn’t make any sense. What does pleasure accomplish?”
The Spokesman Studies Wine
3 I explored ways to make myself feel better by drinking wine. I also explored ways to do some foolish things. During all that time, wisdom continued to control my mind. I was able to determine whether this was good for mortals to do during their brief lives under heaven.
The Spokesman Studies Personal Achievements
4 I accomplished some great things:
I built houses for myself.
9 So I grew richer than anyone in Jerusalem before me. Yet, my wisdom remained with me. 10 If something appealed to me, I did it. I allowed myself to have any pleasure I wanted, since I found pleasure in my work. This was my reward for all my hard work.
11 But when I turned to look at all that I had accomplished and all the hard work I had put into it, I saw that it was all pointless. It was like trying to catch the wind. I gained nothing from any of my accomplishments under the sun.
Death Is the Common Destiny of All Life
12 Then I turned my attention to experience wisdom, madness, and foolishness. For instance, what can the man who replaces the king do? Only what has already been done. 13 But I saw that wisdom has an advantage over foolishness as light has an advantage over darkness. 14 A wise person uses the eyes in his head, but a fool walks in the dark. But I have also come to realize that the same destiny waits for both of them.
15 I thought to myself, “If the destiny that waits for the fool waits for me as well, then what is the advantage in being wise?” So I thought that even this is pointless.
Without God Everything Is Pointless
16 Neither the wise person nor the fool will be remembered for long, since both will be forgotten in the days to come. Both the wise person and the fool will die. 17 So I came to hate life because everything done under the sun seemed wrong to me. Everything was pointless. It was like trying to catch the wind.
18 I came to hate everything for which I had worked so hard under the sun, because I will have to leave it to the person who replaces me. 19 Who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? He will still have control over everything under the sun for which I worked so hard and used my wisdom. Even this is pointless.
20 Then I fell into despair over everything for which I had worked so hard under the sun. 21 Here is someone who had worked hard with wisdom, knowledge, and skill. Yet, he must turn over his estate to someone else, who didn’t work for it. Even this is pointless and a terrible tragedy.
22 What do people get from all of their hard work and struggles under the sun? 23 Their entire life is filled with pain, and their work is unbearable. Even at night their minds don’t rest. Even this is pointless.
With God Even the Simplest Things Have a Point
24 There is nothing better for people to do than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in their work. I saw that even this comes from the hand of Elohim. 25 Who can eat or enjoy themselves without Elohim? 26 Elohim gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to anyone who pleases him. But to the person who continues to sin, he gives the job of gathering and collecting wealth. The sinner must turn his wealth over to the person who pleases Elohim. Even this is pointless. It’s like trying to catch the wind.
Ecclesiastes 2 New International Version (NIV)
Pleasures Are Meaningless
2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless
12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
15 Then I said to myself,
“The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
Toil Is Meaningless
17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.