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Ecclesiastes 2

Eccles 2, Ec 2, Qoh 2, Qoheleth 2


Ecclesiastes 2

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Summary and the Meaning of Chapter 2 of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the KJV Holy Bible

The Book of Ecclesiastes is one of the wisdom books of the Old Testament and is traditionally attributed to King Solomon, the son of King David. It is a collection of reflections and teachings on the meaning of life, the pursuit of wisdom, and the search for true happiness. Chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes continues this theme and explores the futility of seeking fulfillment in worldly pleasures and possessions.

The first chapter begins with the author, referred to as the Preacher or Teacher, reflecting on his own experiences and accomplishments. He describes how he sought pleasure and indulged in every desire, building grand houses, gardens, and vineyards, acquiring vast amounts of wealth and possessions, and surrounding himself with beautiful women. However, in Chapter 2, he ultimately concludes that all of these pursuits were meaningless and brought him no lasting satisfaction.

"I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?" (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2)

The Preacher then turns to the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge, something highly valued in ancient Israelite society. He describes how he devoted himself to studying and acquiring wisdom, seeking to understand the mysteries of life and the world. However, he again concludes that this, too, is ultimately meaningless and brings no lasting fulfillment.

"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." (Ecclesiastes 2:11)

The Preacher then considers the futility of hard work and labor, as he observes that even the fruits of his labor will one day be enjoyed by someone else, who may not have worked for it at all. He questions the purpose of toiling and striving for success, when it ultimately leads to nothing but death.

"Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun. 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." (Ecclesiastes 2:20-21)

The chapter ends with the Preacher acknowledging that all of these pursuits - pleasure, wisdom, and hard work - are ultimately meaningless and futile. He recognizes that true fulfillment and contentment cannot be found in worldly things, but rather comes from the hand of God.

"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." (Ecclesiastes 2:26)

The Main Themes of Ecclesiastes Chapter 2

The main themes of Ecclesiastes Chapter 2 can be summarized as follows:

  • The futility of seeking fulfillment in worldly pleasures and possessions
  • The emptiness of pursuing wisdom and knowledge for their own sake
  • The fleeting nature of hard work and labor
  • The recognition that true fulfillment comes from God

The Meaning of Ecclesiastes Chapter 2

The Preacher's reflections in Ecclesiastes Chapter 2 reveal the emptiness and futility of pursuing worldly pleasures, wisdom, and hard work as a means of finding true fulfillment and happiness. These pursuits are ultimately meaningless, as they do not bring lasting satisfaction and are often left behind for others to enjoy. The Preacher's conclusion is that true contentment and purpose can only be found in God, who gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who are good in His sight.

This chapter also serves as a reminder that the pursuit of worldly pleasures and possessions can be a distraction from what truly matters in life. It is easy to get caught up in the pursuit of success, wealth, and pleasure, but these things do not bring lasting fulfillment. In fact, they can often lead to disappointment and emptiness. The Preacher's reflections serve as a warning against placing too much value on these things and neglecting the spiritual and eternal aspects of life.

Furthermore, the Preacher's observations on the fleeting nature of hard work and labor remind us that our time on earth is limited and that our possessions and accomplishments will one day be left behind. This serves as a reminder to focus on what truly matters and not get caught up in the pursuit of material success.

In conclusion, Ecclesiastes Chapter 2 teaches us that true fulfillment and contentment can only be found in God. All other pursuits are ultimately meaningless and will not bring lasting satisfaction. This chapter serves as a reminder to focus on the eternal and spiritual aspects of life, rather than getting caught up in the pursuit of temporary pleasures and possessions.



This article is informed by the King James Version of the Holy Bible, the authors' personal knowledge, considerations and experience, and additional materials and resources available in internet.

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