Ecclesiastes 2:4

I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:

I made me great works,.... He did not spend his time in trifling things, as Domitian {a}, in catching and killing flies; but in devising, designing, directing, and superintending great works of art and skill, becoming the grandeur of his state, and the greatness of his mind: the Midrash restrains it to his great throne of ivory, overlaid with gold, 1 Kings 10:18, but it is a general expression, including all the great things he did, of which the following is a particular enumeration;

I builded me houses; among which must not be reckoned the house of God, though that was built by him, and in the first place; yet this was built, not for his own pleasure and grandeur, but for the worship and glory of God: but his own house and palace is chiefly meant, which was thirteen years in building; and the house of the forest in Lebanon, which perhaps was his country seat; with all other houses and offices, for his stores, for his servants, his horsemen, and chariots; see 1 Kings 7:1; and in fine spacious buildings men take a great deal of pleasure, and promise themselves much happiness in dwelling in them, and in perpetuating their names to posterity by them; see

Psalms 49:11. The Targum is,

"I multiplied good works in Jerusalem; I builded me houses; the house of the sanctuary, to make atonement for Israel; the king's house of refreshment, and the conclave and porch; and the house of judgment, of hewn stones, where the wise men sit and do judgment; I made a throne of ivory for the royal seat;''

I planted me vineyards; perhaps those at Engedi were of his planting; however, he had one at Baalhamon, and no doubt in other places, Song of Solomon 1:14; the Targum makes mention of one at Jabne, planted by him; these also add to the pleasure of human life; it is delightful to walk in them, to gather the fruit and drink of the wine of them; see Song of Solomon 7:12.

{a} Sueton. Vit. Domitian. c. 3. Aurel. Victor. De. Caesar. & Epitome.