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Ecclesiastes 2:4

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I builded me houses - Palace after palace; the house of the forest of Lebanon, 1 Kings 7:1, etc.; a house for the queen; the temple, etc., 2 Chronicles 8:1, etc.; 1 Kings 9:10, etc., besides many other buildings of various kinds.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Solomon soon found mirth and pleasure to be vanity. What does noisy, flashy mirth towards making a man happy? The manifold devices of men's hearts, to get satisfaction from the world, and their changing from one thing to another, are like the restlessness of a man in a fever. Perceiving it was folly to give himself to wine, he next tried the costly amusements of princes. The poor, when they read such a description, are ready to feel discontent. But the remedy against all such feelings is in the estimate of it all by the owner himself. All was vanity and vexation of spirit: and the same things would yield the same result to us, as to Solomon. Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. His wisdom remained with him; a strong understanding, with great human knowledge. But every earthly pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the mind as eager and unsatisfied as before. Happiness arises not from the situation in which we are placed. It is only through Jesus Christ that final blessedness can be attained.
Ellen G. White
Education, 153

“I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards: ... I got me servants and maidens: ... I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem.... And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor.... Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.” Ed 153.1

“I hated life.... Yea, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:4-12, 17, 18. Ed 153.2

By his own bitter experience, Solomon learned the emptiness of a life that seeks in earthly things its highest good. He erected altars to heathen gods, only to learn how vain is their promise of rest to the soul. Ed 153.3

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 167

Highways to Happiness

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13 ML 167.1

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 76

From the joy of divine communion, Solomon turned to find satisfaction in the pleasures of sense. Of this experience he says: PK 76.1

“I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards: ... I got me servants and maidens: ... I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem.... PK 76.2

“And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor.... Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. PK 76.3

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Ellen G. White
The Retirement Years, 178f

These examples of human steadfastness bear witness to the faithfulness of God's promises—of His abiding presence and sustaining grace. They testify to the power of faith to withstand the powers of the world. It is the work of faith to rest in God in the darkest hour, to feel, however sorely tried and tempest tossed, that our Father is at the helm. The eye of faith alone can look beyond the things of time to estimate aright the worth of eternal riches.—The Review and Herald, September 12, 1912. RY 178.1

The life of Solomon is full of warning, not only to youth, but to those of mature years and to the aged, those who are descending the hill of life and facing the western sun.... RY 178.2

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