The Vanity of Living Wisely

Ecclesiastes 2

12 Then I turned myself to consider wisdom l and madness and folly;
For what can the man do who succeeds the king? -
Only what he has already m done.
13 Then I saw that wisdom n excels folly
As light excels darkness.
14 o The wise man's eyes are in his head,
But the fool walks in darkness.
Yet I myself perceived
That p the same event happens to them all.
15 So I said in my heart,
"As it happens to the fool,
It also happens to me,
And why was I then more wise?"
Then I said in my heart,
"This also is vanity."
16 For there is q no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever,
Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come.
And how does a wise man die?
As the fool!
17 Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

  1. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:17
    And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
    Ecclesiastes 7:25
    I applied my heart to know, To search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things, To know the wickedness of folly, Even of foolishness and madness.
  2. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:9
    That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
  3. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 7:11
    Wisdom is good with an inheritance, And profitable to those who see the sun.
    Ecclesiastes 7:14
    In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.
    Ecclesiastes 7:19
    Wisdom strengthens the wise More than ten rulers of the city.
    Ecclesiastes 9:18
    Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroys much good.
    Ecclesiastes 10:10
    If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.
  4. Cross References
    Proverbs 17:24
    Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
    Ecclesiastes 8:1
    Who is like a wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, And the sternness of his face is changed.
  5. Cross References
    Psalms 49:10
    For he sees wise men die; Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, And leave their wealth to others.
    Ecclesiastes 9:2
    All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the good, the clean, and the unclean; To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.
    Ecclesiastes 9:3
    This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
    Ecclesiastes 9:11
    I returned and saw under the sun that - The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.
  6. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:11
    There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.
    Ecclesiastes 4:16
    There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king; Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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