The Vanity of Wisdom
I o the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.
And I p applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy q business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is r vanity and a striving after wind.
s What is crooked cannot be made straight,
and what is lacking cannot be counted.
I said in my heart, "I have acquired great t wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge."
And I u applied my heart to know wisdom and to know v madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but r a striving after wind.
For w in much wisdom is much vexation,
and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
1 Kings 4:33
He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish.
For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
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Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.
1 Kings 3:12 - 13
Behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.
1 Kings 4:30
So that Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.
1 Kings 10:7
But I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard.
1 Kings 10:23
Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.
And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine - my heart still guiding me with wisdom - and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.
So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done.
All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, "I will be wise," but it was far from me.
I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness.
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.