2:1 I said in my heart, Come now, I will tempt a thee with
mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also [is]
(a) Solomon makes this discourse with himself, as though he
would try whether there was contentment in ease and
2:3 I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting
my heart with b 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.
(b) Even though I gave myself to pleasures, yet I thought to
keep wisdom and the fear of God in my heart, and govern
my affairs by the same.
2:7 I procured [me] male and female servants, and had servants
born in my c house; also I had great possessions of herds
and flocks above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
(c) Meaning, of the servants or slaves which he had bought,
so the children born in their servitude, were the
2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the special treasure
of kings and of the provinces: I procured me male and female
singers, and the d delights of the sons of men, e [as]
musical instruments, and of all sorts.
(d) That is, whatever men take pleasure in.
(e) Or, the most beautiful of the women that were taken in
war, as in (Jdg 5:30).
2:9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before
me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom f remained with me.
(f) For all this God did not take his gift of wisdom from
2:10 And whatever my 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 g portion of all my
(g) This was the fruit of all my labour, a certain pleasure
mixed with care, which he calls vanity in the next
2:12 And I turned myself to behold h wisdom, and madness, and
folly: for what [can] the man [do] that cometh after the
king? [even] that which hath been already done.
(h) I thought to myself whether it was better to follow
wisdom, or my own affections and pleasures, which he
2:14 The wise man's i eyes [are] in his head; but the fool
walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one
k event happeneth to them all.
(i) Meaning, in this world.
(k) For both die and are forgotten as in (Ec 2:16) or
they both alike have prosperity or adversity.
2:16 For [there is] no remembrance of the wise more than of the
fool l for ever; seeing that which now [is] in the days
to come shall all be forgotten. And m how dieth the wise
[man]? as the fool.
(l) Meaning, in this world.
(m) He wonders that men forget a wise man, being dead, as
soon as they do a fool.
2:20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart n to despair of
all the labour which I took under the sun.
(n) That I might seek the true happiness which is in God.
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 in it shall he o leave it [for] his portion.
This also [is] vanity and a great evil.
(o) Among other griefs that was not the least, to leave
that which he had gotten by great travail, to one who
had taken no pain therefore and whom he know not
whether he were a wise man or a fool.
2:24 [There is] nothing better for a man, [than] that he should
eat and drink, and [that] he should p make his soul enjoy
good in his labour. This also I saw, that it [was] from the
hand of God.
(p) When man has all laboured, he can get no more than food
and refreshing, yet he confesses also that this comes
from God's blessing, as in (Ec 3:13).
2:25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten q [to it], more