Ecclesiastes 2:4 (ESV)

4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself.

Solomon came to the conclusion that wine does not give genuine happiness to man. Now he pays attention to other things in his past. He wonders if there are other things that cause real happiness and meaning in life. Solomon’s life had been filled with many things that other people could only dream about, but which would be out of their reach forever.

He could do a lot of things because he was so rich and powerful. We read about Solomon’s wealth in 2 Chronicles 1:15, And the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah.

What are those things that Solomon did? We read a summary of this in Ecclesiastes 2:4–8. He built houses for himself, splendid palaces.