1 I considered also how much oppression there is under the sun: the tears of the oppressed and no one to console them, the violence of the oppressors and no one to hold them back.
2 More fortunate are the dead for being dead, than the living who have to live, 3 and even more fortunate than both is the one not yet born who has not seen the abuses under the sun.
4 I saw that all that is done, all that succeeds, results from rivalry with the neighbor: all is meaningless and chasing the wind.
5 The fool folds his arms and eats his meat. 6 Yet better half a fistful of rest than fistfuls of toil and chasing the wind.
7 I saw another senseless thing under the sun: 8 a man alone, without son or bro ther, working endlessly, his greed never satisfied with wealth: ďFor whom do I work and deprive myself of pleasure?Ē This, too, is nonsense and mistaken investment.
9 Happier two than one alone, for their work brings a higher salary, 10 and when one falls the other lifts up his companion. Unfortunate he who is alone and has no one to lift him up. 11 Moreover itís warmer with two in bed; how can one alone be warm? 12 One person may be overcome by an aggressor, but two can easily oppose him; triple-stranded thread is not easily broken.
13 Better a youth who is poor and wise than a fool of an old king who shuns advice. 14 He may even pass from prison to the throne, though born poor in his kingdom. 15 I saw all who live under the sun follow the youth who replaced the latter and there was no end to the people who sided with him. 16 And yet those who will come after will not be satisfied. This too makes no sense; itís nothing but chasing wind.
17 Watch your step when you go to Godís house; itís a better offering to listen, than to present sacrifices as do the fools; for they do not know the evil they do.