1 I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth: therefore enjoy pleasure;" and, behold, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter, "It is foolishness;" and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?"
3 I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold of folly, until I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their lives. 4 I made myself great works. I built myself houses. I planted myself vineyards. 5 I made myself gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit. 6 I made myself pools of water, to water from it the forest where trees were reared. 7 I bought men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house. I also had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all who were before me in Jerusalem; 8 I also gathered silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got myself men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men--musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 9 So I was great, and increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also remained with me. 10 Whatever my eyes desired, I didn't keep from them. I didn't withhold my heart from any joy, for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor, and this was my portion from all my labor. 11 Then I looked at all the works that my hands had worked, and at the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a chasing after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
12 I turned myself to consider wisdom, madness, and folly: for what can the king's successor do? Just that which has been done long ago. 13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, and the fool walks in darkness--and yet I perceived that one event happens to them all. 15 Then said I in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise?" Then said I in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no memory for ever, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. Indeed, the wise man must die just like the fool!
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?