Ecclesiastes 4

Evil Under the Sun

1 aAgain I bsaw all cthe oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had dno one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. 2And I ethought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. 3But fbetter than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

4Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is gvanity
The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verses 7, 8, 16 (see note on 1:2)
and a striving after wind.

5The fool ifolds his hands and jeats his own flesh.

6 kBetter is a handful of lquietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

7 mAgain, I saw vanity under the sun: 8one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his neyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, oFor whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy pbusiness.

9Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, qbut how can one keep warm alone? 12And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

13Better was ra poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how sto take advice. 14For he went tfrom prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor. 15I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that
Hebrew the second
youth who was to stand in the king’s
Hebrew his
16There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is wvanity and a striving after wind.

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