6 There exists a calamity that I have seen under the sun, and it is frequent among mankind: 2 a man* to whom the [true] God gives riches and material possessions and glory+ and who, for his soul, is in no need of anything that he shows himself longing for,+ and yet the [true] God does not enable him to eat from it,+ although a mere foreigner+ may eat it. This is vanity and it is a bad sickness. 3 If a man should become a father a hundred times,+ and he should live many years, so that numerous the days of his years should become,+ yet his own soul is not satisfied with good things+ and even the grave has not become his,+ I must say that one prematurely born is better off than he is.+ 4 For in vain has this one come and in darkness he goes away, and with darkness his own name will be covered.+ 5 Even the sun itself he has not seen, neither known.+ This one has rest rather than the former one.+ 6 Even supposing that he has lived a thousand years twice over and yet he has not seen what is good,+ is it not to just one place that everyone is going?+ 7 All the hard work of mankind* is for their mouth,+ but even their own soul does not get filled. 8 For what advantage does the wise have over the stupid one?+ What does the afflicted one have in knowing how to walk in front of the living ones? 9 Better is the seeing by the eyes than the walking about of the soul.*+ This too is vanity and a striving after the wind.+ 10 Whatever has come to be, its name has already been pronounced, and it has become known what man* is;+ and he is not able to plead his cause with one that is more powerful than he is.+ 11 Because there exist many things that are causing much vanity,+ what advantage does a man have? 12 For who is there knowing what good a man has in life+ for the number of the days of his vain life, when he spends them like a shadow?+ For who can tell man what will happen after him under the sun?+
^ “Man.” Heb., ʼish.
^ Lit., “the earthling man.” Heb., ha·ʼa·dhamʹ.
^ Or, “soulful desire.”
^ Or, “earthling man.” Heb., ʼa·dhamʹ.