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Ecclesiastes 2

 
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1 εἶπον ἐγὼ ἐν καρδίᾳ μου δεῦρο δὴ πειράσω σε ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ καὶ ἰδὲ ἐν ἀγαθῷ καὶ ἰδοὺ καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης 2 τῷ γέλωτι εἶπα περιφορὰν καὶ τῇ εὐφροσύνῃ τί τοῦτο ποιεῖς 3 κατεσκεψάμην ἐν καρδίᾳ μου τοῦ ἑλκύσαι εἰς οἶνον τὴν σάρκα μου καὶ καρδία μου ὡδήγησεν ἐν σοφίᾳ καὶ τοῦ κρατῆσαι ἐ{P'} ἀφροσύνῃ ἕως οὗ ἴδω ποῖον τὸ ἀγαθὸν τοῖς υἱοῖς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὃ ποιήσουσιν ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον ἀριθμὸν ἡμερῶν ζωῆς αὐτῶν 4 ἐμεγάλυνα ποίημά μου ᾠκοδόμησά μοι οἴκους ἐφύτευσά μοι ἀμπελῶνας 5 ἐποίησά μοι κήπους καὶ παραδείσους καὶ ἐφύτευσα ἐν αὐτοῖς ξύλον πᾶν καρποῦ 6 ἐποίησά μοι κολυμβήθρας ὑδάτων τοῦ ποτίσαι ἀ{P'} αὐτῶν δρυμὸν βλαστῶντα ξύλα 7 ἐκτησάμην δούλους καὶ παιδίσκας καὶ οἰκογενεῖς ἐγένοντό μοι καί γε κτῆσις βουκολίου καὶ ποιμνίου πολλὴ ἐγένετό μοι ὑπὲρ πάντας τοὺς γενομένους ἔμπροσθέν μου ἐν Ιερουσαλημ 8 συνήγαγόν μοι καί γε ἀργύριον καὶ χρυσίον καὶ περιουσιασμοὺς βασιλέων καὶ τῶν χωρῶν ἐποίησά μοι ᾄδοντας καὶ ᾀδούσας καὶ ἐντρυφήματα υἱῶν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οἰνοχόον καὶ οἰνοχόας 9 καὶ ἐμεγαλύνθην καὶ προσέθηκα παρὰ πάντας τοὺς γενομένους ἔμπροσθέν μου ἐν Ιερουσαλημ καί γε σοφία μου ἐστάθη μοι 10 καὶ πᾶν ὃ ᾔτησαν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου οὐχ ὑφεῖλον ἀ{P'} αὐτῶν οὐκ ἀπεκώλυσα τὴν καρδίαν μου ἀπὸ πάσης εὐφροσύνης ὅτι καρδία μου εὐφράνθη ἐν παντὶ μόχθῳ μου καὶ τοῦτο ἐγένετο μερίς μου ἀπὸ παντὸς μόχθου μου 11 καὶ ἐπέβλεψα ἐγὼ ἐν πᾶσιν ποιήμασίν μου οἷς ἐποίησαν αἱ χεῖρές μου καὶ ἐν μόχθῳ ᾧ ἐμόχθησα τοῦ ποιεῖν καὶ ἰδοὺ τὰ πάντα ματαιότης καὶ προαίρεσις πνεύματος καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν περισσεία ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον 1 Next, I thought to give the rein to my desires, and enjoy pleasure, until I found that this, too, was labour lost. 2 Wouldst thou know how I learned to find laughter an empty thing, and all joy a vain illusion; 3 how I resolved at last to deny myself the comfort of wine, wisdom now all my quest, folly disowned? For I could not rest until I knew where man’s true good lay, what was his life’s true task, here under the sun.[1] 4 Great plans I set on foot; I would build palaces, I would plant vineyards, 5 I would have park and orchard, planted with every kind of tree; 6 and to water all this greenery there must be pools of water besides. 7 Men-slaves I bought and women-slaves, till I had a great retinue of them; herds, too, and abundance of flocks, such as Jerusalem never saw till then. 8 Gold and silver I amassed, revenues of subject king and subject province; men-singers I had and women-singers, and all that man delights in; beakers a many, and jars of wine to fill them.[2] 9 Never had Jerusalem known such wealth; yet in the midst of it, wisdom never left my side. 10 Eyes denied nothing that eyes could covet, a heart stinted of no enjoyment, free of all the pleasures I had devised for myself, this was to be my reward, this the fruit of all my labours. 11 And now, when I looked round at all I had done, all that ungrateful drudgery, nothing I found there but frustration and labour lost, so fugitive is all we cherish, here under the sun. 1

Dixi ego in corde meo: Vadam,
et affluam deliciis, et fruar bonis;
et vidi quod hoc quoque esset vanitas.
2
Risum reputavi errorem,
et gaudio dixi: Quid frustra deciperis?
3
Cogitavi in corde meo abstrahere a vino carnem meam,
ut animam meam transferrem ad sapientiam,
devitaremque stultitiam,
donec viderem quid esset utile filiis hominum,
quo facto opus est sub sole numero dierum vitæ suæ.
4
Magnificavi opera mea,
ædificavi mihi domos,
et plantavi vineas;
5
feci hortos et pomaria,
et consevi ea cuncti generis arboribus;
6
et exstruxi mihi piscinas aquarum,
ut irrigarem silvam lignorum germinantium.
7
Possedi servos et ancillas,
multamque familiam habui:
armenta quoque, et magnos ovium greges,
ultra omnes qui fuerunt ante me in Jerusalem;
8
coacervavi mihi argentum et aurum,
et substantias regum ac provinciarum;
feci mihi cantores et cantatrices,
et delicias filiorum hominum,
scyphos, et urceos in ministerio ad vina fundenda;
9
et supergressus sum opibus
omnes qui ante me fuerunt in Jerusalem:
sapientia quoque perseveravit mecum.
10
Et omnia quæ desideraverunt oculi mei
non negavi eis,
nec prohibui cor meum quin omni voluptate frueretur,
et oblectaret se in his quæ præparaveram;
et hanc ratus sum partem meam si uterer labore meo.
11
Cumque me convertissem ad universa opera quæ fecerant manus meæ,
et ad labores in quibus frustra sudaveram,
vidi in omnibus vanitatem et afflictionem animi,
et nihil permanere sub sole.
12 καὶ ἐπέβλεψα ἐγὼ τοῦ ἰδεῖν σοφίαν καὶ περιφορὰν καὶ ἀφροσύνην ὅτι τίς ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὃς ἐπελεύσεται ὀπίσω τῆς βουλῆς τὰ ὅσα ἐποίησεν αὐτήν 13 καὶ εἶδον ἐγὼ ὅτι ἔστιν περισσεία τῇ σοφίᾳ ὑπὲρ τὴν ἀφροσύνην ὡς περισσεία τοῦ φωτὸς ὑπὲρ τὸ σκότος 14 τοῦ σοφοῦ οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτοῦ ἐν κεφαλῇ αὐτοῦ καὶ ὁ ἄφρων ἐν σκότει πορεύεται καὶ ἔγνων καί γε ἐγὼ ὅτι συνάντημα ἓν συναντήσεται τοῖς πᾶσιν αὐτοῖς 15 καὶ εἶπα ἐγὼ ἐν καρδίᾳ μου ὡς συνάντημα τοῦ ἄφρονος καί γε ἐμοὶ συναντήσεταί μοι καὶ ἵνα τί ἐσοφισάμην ἐγὼ τότε περισσὸν ἐλάλησα ἐν καρδίᾳ μου διότι ἄφρων ἐκ περισσεύματος λαλεῖ ὅτι καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης 16 ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν μνήμη τοῦ σοφοῦ μετὰ τοῦ ἄφρονος εἰς αἰῶνα καθότι ἤδη αἱ ἡμέραι αἱ ἐρχόμεναι τὰ πάντα ἐπελήσθη καὶ πῶς ἀποθανεῖται ὁ σοφὸς μετὰ τοῦ ἄφρονος 12 Then my mind went back to the thought of wisdom, of ignorance, too, and folly. What (thought I), should mortal king strive to imitate the sovereign power that made him?[3] 13 I saw, indeed, that wisdom differed from folly as light from darkness; 14 the wise man had eyes in his head, while the fool went his way benighted; but the ending of them? In their ending both were alike. 15 Why then (I said to myself), if fool and I must come to the same end at last, was not I the fool, that toiled to achieve wisdom more than he? So my thoughts ran, and I found labour lost, here too. 16 Endlessly forgotten, wise man and fool alike, since to-morrow’s memory will be no longer than yesterday’s; wise man and fool alike doomed to death. 12

Transivi ad contemplandam sapientiam,
erroresque, et stultitiam.
(Quid est, inquam, homo,
ut sequi possit regem, factorem suum?)
13
Et vidi quod tantum præcederet sapientia stultitiam,
quantum differt lux a tenebris.
14
Sapientis oculi in capite ejus;
stultus in tenebris ambulat:
et didici quod unus utriusque esset interitus.
15
Et dixi in corde meo:
Si unus et stulti et meus occasus erit,
quid mihi prodest quod majorem sapientiæ dedi operam?
Locutusque cum mente mea,
animadverti quod hoc quoque esset vanitas.
16
Non enim erit memoria sapientis similiter ut stulti in perpetuum,
et futura tempora oblivione cuncta pariter operient:
moritur doctus similiter ut indoctus.
17 καὶ ἐμίσησα σὺν τὴν ζωήν ὅτι πονηρὸν ἐ{P'} ἐμὲ τὸ ποίημα τὸ πεποιημένον ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον ὅτι τὰ πάντα ματαιότης καὶ προαίρεσις πνεύματος 18 καὶ ἐμίσησα ἐγὼ σὺν πάντα μόχθον μου ὃν ἐγὼ μοχθῶ ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον ὅτι ἀφίω αὐτὸν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ τῷ γινομένῳ με{T'} ἐμέ 19 καὶ τίς οἶδεν εἰ σοφὸς ἔσται ἢ ἄφρων καὶ ἐξουσιάζεται ἐν παντὶ μόχθῳ μου ᾧ ἐμόχθησα καὶ ᾧ ἐσοφισάμην ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης 20 καὶ ἐπέστρεψα ἐγὼ τοῦ ἀποτάξασθαι τῇ καρδίᾳ μου ἐπὶ παντὶ τῷ μόχθῳ ᾧ ἐμόχθησα ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον 21 ὅτι ἔστιν ἄνθρωπος οὗ μόχθος αὐτοῦ ἐν σοφίᾳ καὶ ἐν γνώσει καὶ ἐν ἀνδρείᾳ καὶ ἄνθρωπος ὃς οὐκ ἐμόχθησεν ἐν αὐτῷ δώσει αὐτῷ μερίδα αὐτοῦ καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης καὶ πονηρία μεγάλη 17 Thus I became weary of life itself; so worthless it seemed to me, all that man does beneath the sun, frustration all of it, and labour lost. And I, beneath that same sun, what fond labours I had spent! 18 I hated the thought of them now; should heir of mine succeed to them? 19 An heir, would he be wise man or fool? None could tell; but his would be the possession of all I had toiled for so hard, schemed for so anxiously; could there be frustration worse than this? 20 I would hold my hand; no more should yonder sun see labours of mine. 21 What, should one man go on toiling, his the craft, his the skill, his the anxious care, leaving all to another, and an idler? That were frustration surely, and great mischief done. 17
Et idcirco tæduit me vitæ meæ,
videntem mala universa esse sub sole,
et cuncta vanitatem et afflictionem spiritus.
18

Rursus detestatus sum omnem industriam meam,
qua sub sole studiosissime laboravi,
habiturus hæredem post me,
19
quem ignoro utrum sapiens an stultus futurus sit,
et dominabitur in laboribus meis,
quibus desudavi et sollicitus fui:
et est quidquam tam vanum?
20
Unde cessavi,
renuntiavitque cor meum ultra laborare sub sole.
21
Nam cum alius laboret in sapientia,
et doctrina, et sollicitudine,
homini otioso quæsita dimittit;
et hoc ergo vanitas et magnum malum.
22 ὅτι τί γίνεται τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐν παντὶ μόχθῳ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν προαιρέσει καρδίας αὐτοῦ ᾧ αὐτὸς μοχθεῖ ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον 23 ὅτι πᾶσαι αἱ ἡμέραι αὐτοῦ ἀλγημάτων καὶ θυμοῦ περισπασμὸς αὐτοῦ καί γε ἐν νυκτὶ οὐ κοιμᾶται ἡ καρδία αὐτοῦ καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης ἐστίν 24 οὐκ ἔστιν ἀγαθὸν ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ ὃ φάγεται καὶ ὃ πίεται καὶ ὃ δείξει τῇ ψυχῇ αὐτοῦ ἀγαθὸν ἐν μόχθῳ αὐτοῦ καί γε τοῦτο εἶδον ἐγὼ ὅτι ἀπὸ χειρὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν 25 ὅτι τίς φάγεται καὶ τίς φείσεται πάρεξ αὐτοῦ 26 ὅτι τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ τῷ ἀγαθῷ πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἔδωκεν σοφίαν καὶ γνῶσιν καὶ εὐφροσύνην καὶ τῷ ἁμαρτάνοντι ἔδωκεν περισπασμὸν τοῦ προσθεῖναι καὶ τοῦ συναγαγεῖν τοῦ δοῦναι τῷ ἀγαθῷ πρὸ προσώπου τοῦ θεοῦ ὅτι καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης καὶ προαίρεσις πνεύματος 22 Tell me, how is a man the richer for all that toil of his, all that lost labour of his, here under the sun? 23 His days all painfulness and care, his very nights restless; what is here but frustration? 24 Were it not better to eat and drink, and toil only at his own pleasures? These, too, come from God’s hand; 25 and who has better right to food tasted and pleasure enjoyed than I? 26 Who wins God’s favour, has wisdom and skill for his reward, and pleasure too; it is the sinner that is doomed to hardship and to thankless care, hoarding and scraping, and all to enrich some heir God loves better! For him frustration, for him the labour lost. 22
Quid enim proderit homini de universo labore suo,
et afflictione spiritus,
qua sub sole cruciatus est?
23
Cuncti dies ejus doloribus et ærumnis pleni sunt,
nec per noctem mente requiescit.
Et hoc nonne vanitas est?
24
Nonne melius est comedere et bibere,
et ostendere animæ suæ bona de laboribus suis?
et hoc de manu Dei est.
25
Quis ita devorabit et deliciis affluet ut ego?
26
Homini bono in conspectu suo
dedit Deus sapientiam, et scientiam, et lætitiam;
peccatori autem dedit afflictionem et curam superfluam,
ut addat, et congreget,
et tradat ei qui placuit Deo;
sed et hoc vanitas est, et cassa sollicitudo mentis.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.