The Vanity of Toil

Ecclesiastes 2

18 Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because r I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun. 21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his 1 heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 s For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? 23 For all his days are t sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.

24 u Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, 2 more than I? 26 For God gives v wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that w he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

  1. 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.
  2. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:3
    What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun?
    Ecclesiastes 3:9
    What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
  3. Cross References
    Job 5:7
    Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward.
    Job 14:1
    Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble.
  4. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 3:12
    I know that nothing is better for them than to ...
    Ecclesiastes 3:13
    And also that every man should eat and drink an...
    Ecclesiastes 3:22
    So I perceived that nothing is better than that...
    Isaiah 56:12
    "Come," one says, "I will bring wine, And we wi...
    Luke 12:19
    'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have man...
    1 Corinthians 15:32
    If, in the manner of men, I have fought with be...
    1 Timothy 6:17
    Command those who are rich in this present age ...
  5. Cross References
    Job 32:8
    But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.
    Proverbs 2:6
    For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
    James 1:5
    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
  6. Cross References
    Job 27:16
    Though he heaps up silver like dust, And piles up clothing like clay -
    Job 27:17
    He may pile it up, but the just will wear it, And the innocent will divide the silver.
    Proverbs 28:8
    One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion Gathers it for him who will pity the poor.
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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