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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.
2:2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? 2:3 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.
2:4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: 2:5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: 2:6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: 2:7 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: 2:8 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.
2:9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
2:10 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.
2:11 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.
2:12 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.
2:13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
2:14 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.
2:15 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.
2:16 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.
2:17 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.
2:18 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.
2:19 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.
2:20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
2:21 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.
2:22 For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
2:24 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.
2:25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I? 2:26 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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Everything King James Bible:Ecclesiastes
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Ecclesiastes
Book: Ecclesiastes
Chapter: 2

Overview:
The vanity and vexation of mirth, sensual pleasure, riches,
and pomp. (1-11) Human Wisdom insufficient. (12-17) This world
to be used according to the will of God. (18-26)

1-11 Solomon soon found mirth and pleasure to be vanity. What
does noisy, flashy mirth towards making a Man happy? The
manifold devices of men's hearts, to get satisfaction from the
world, and their changing from one thing to another, are like
the restlessness of a Man in a Fever. Perceiving it was folly to
give himself to Wine, he next tried the costly amusements of
princes. The Poor, when they read such a description, are ready
to feel discontent. But the remedy against all such feelings is
in the estimate of it all By the owner himself. All was vanity
and vexation of Spirit: and the same things would yield the same
result to us, as to Solomon. Having Food and raiment, let us
therewith be content. His Wisdom remained with him; a strong
understanding, with great human knowledge. But every earthly
pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the
mind as eager and unsatisfied as before. Happiness arises not
from the situation in which we are placed. It is only through
Jesus Christ that final blessedness can be attained.

12-17 Solomon found that knowledge and prudence were preferable
to ignorance and folly, though human Wisdom and knowledge will
not make a Man happy. The most learned of men, who dies a
Stranger to Christ Jesus, will perish equally with the most
ignorant; and what good can commendations On Earth do to the
body in the Grave, or the soul in Hell? And the spirits of just
men made perfect cannot want them. So that if this were all, we
might be led to hate our Life, as it is all vanity and vexation
of Spirit.

18-26 Our hearts are very loath to quit their expectations of
great things from the Creature; but Solomon came to this at
length. The world is a vale of tears, even to those that have
much of it. See what fools they are, who make themselves drudges
to the world, which affords a Man nothing better than
subsistence for the body. And the utmost he can attain in this
respect is to allow himself a sober, cheerful use thereof,
according to his rank and condition. But we must enjoy good in
our labour; we must use those things to make us diligent and
cheerful in worldly business. And this is the Gift of God.
Riches are a blessing or a Curse to a Man, according as he has,
or has not, a Heart to make a good use of them. To those that
are accepted of the Lord, he gives joy and satisfaction in the
knowledge and Love of him. But to the sinner he allots labour,
sorrow, vanity, and vexation, in seeking a worldly portion,
which yet afterwards comes into better hands. Let the sinner
seriously consider his latter End. To seek a lasting portion in
the Love of Christ and the blessings it bestows, is the only way
to true and satisfying enjoyment even of this present world.

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