1And I myself returned that I might see all the acts of oppression that are being done under the sun, and, look! the tears of those being oppressed, but they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power, so that they had no comforter.2And I congratulated the dead who had already died rather than the living who were still alive.3So better than both of them [is] the one who has not yet come to be, who has not seen the calamitous work that is being done under the sun.
4And I myself have seen all the hard work and all the proficiency in work, that it means the rivalry of one toward another; this also is vanity and a striving after the wind.
5The stupid one is folding his hands and is eating his own flesh.
6Better is a handful of rest than a double handful of hard work and striving after the wind.
7I myself returned that I might see the vanity under the sun:8There exists one, but not a second one; also no son or brother does he have, but there is no end to all his hard work. Also, his eyes themselves are not satisfied with riches: “And for whom am I working hard and causing my soul to lack in good things?” This too is vanity, and it is a calamitous occupation.
9Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their hard work.10For if one of them should fall, the other one can raise his partner up. But how will it be with just the one who falls when there is not another to raise him up?
11Moreover, if two lie down together, they also will certainly get warm; but how can just one keep warm?12And if somebody could overpower one alone, two together could make a stand against him. And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two.
13Better is a needy but wise child than an old but stupid king, who has not come to know enough to be warned any longer.14For he has gone forth from the prison house itself to become king, although in the kingship of this one he had been born as one of little means.15I have seen all those alive who are walking about under the sun, [how it goes] with the child, who is second, that stands up in the other one’s place.16There is no end to all the people, to all those before whom he happened to be; neither will people afterward rejoice in him, for this too is vanity and a striving after the wind.