Then I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and, behold, the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. 2 Therefore I praised the dead that have been long dead more than the living that are yet alive; 3 yes, better than them both did I esteem him that has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4 Then I saw all labor and every skilful work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. 5 The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh. 6 Better is a handful, with quietness, than two handfuls with labor and striving after wind.
7 Then I returned and saw vanity under the sun. 8 There is one that is alone, and he has not a second; yes, he has neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches. For whom then, says he, do I labor, and deprive my soul of good? This also is vanity, yes, it is a great travail. 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falls, and has not another to lift him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if a man prevails against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king, who knows not how to receive admonition any more. 14 For out of prison he came forth to be king; yes, even in his kingdom he was born poor. 15 I saw all the living that walk under the sun, that they were with the youth, the second, that stood up in his place. 16 There was no end of all the people, even of all them over whom he was: yet they that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Keep your foot when you go to the house of Elohim; for to draw near to hear is better than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they know not that they do evil. 2 Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before Elohim; for Elohim is in heaven, and you upon earth: therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes with a multitude of business, and a fool’s voice with a multitude of words. 4 When you vow a vow to Elohim, defer not to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools: pay that which you vow. 5 Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not your mouth to cause your flesh to sin; neither say before the angel, that it was an error: why should Elohim be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams there are vanities, and in many words: but fear Elohim.
8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in a province, marvel not at the matter: for one higher than the high regards; and there are higher than they. 9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. 10 He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loves abundance, with increase: this also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them; and what advantage is there to the owner of it, save the beholding of them with his eyes? 12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the fulness of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept by the owner of it to his hurt: 14 and those riches perish by evil adventure; and if he has begotten a son, there is nothing in his hand. 15 As he came forth from his mother’s womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing for his labor, which he may carry away in his hand. 16 And this also is a grievous evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit has he that he labors for the wind? 17 All his days also he eats in darkness, and he is severely vexed, and has sickness and wrath.
18 Behold, that which I have seen to be good and to be comely is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, in which he labors under the sun, all the days of his life which Elohim has given him: for this is his portion. 19 Every man also to whom Elohim has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat of it, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of Elohim. 20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because Elohim answers him in the joy of his heart.
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy upon men: 2 a man to whom Elohim gives riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet Elohim gives him not power to eat of it, but an alien eats it; this is vanity, and it is an evil disease. 3 If a man procreates a hundred children, and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not filled with good, and moreover he has no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he: 4 for it comes in vanity, and departs in darkness, and the name of it is covered with darkness; 5 moreover it has not seen the sun nor known it; this has rest rather than the other: 6 yes, though he lives a thousand years twice told, and yet enjoyed no good, do not all go to one place?
7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled. 8 For what advantage has the wise more than the fool? What has the poor man, that knows how to walk before the living? 9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
10 Whatever has been, the name of it was given long ago; and it is known what man is; neither can he contend with him that is mightier than he. 11 Since there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? 12 For who knows what is good for man in his life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow? For who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?