I made myself great works; I built houses; I planted vineyards:
All Commentaries on Ecclesiastes 2:4 Go To Ecclesiastes 2
Serve God with tears, that you may be able to wash away your sins. I know that many mock us, saying, “Shed tears.” Therefore it is a time for tears. I know also that they are disgusted, who say, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” It is not I that say it, but he who had had the experience of all things says thus: “I built for me houses, I planted vineyards, I made me pools of water, [I had] men servants and women servants.” And what then after all these things? “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Let us mourn therefore, beloved, let us mourn in order that we may laugh indeed, that we may rejoice indeed in the time of unmixed joy. For with this joy [here] grief is altogether mingled, and never is it possible to find it pure. But that is simple and undeceiving joy: it has nothing treacherous, nor any admixture.