Ecclesiastes 6:1-12

6  There is another tragedy* that I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:  The true God gives a man riches and material possessions and glory, so that he lacks nothing that he desires;* yet the true God does not enable him to enjoy them, although a stranger may enjoy them. This is futility and a severe affliction.  If a man should become a father a hundred times and live for many years and reach old age, yet he* does not enjoy his good things before he reaches the grave,* I must say that a stillborn child is better off than he is.+  For this one came in vain and went away in darkness, and his name is shrouded in darkness.  Even though he never saw the sun or knew anything, he is still better off* than the former one.+  What is the benefit of living a thousand years twice over but not experiencing enjoyment? Do not all go to the same place?+  All the hard work of a man is to fill his mouth;+ yet his appetite* is never satisfied.  For what advantage does the wise one have over the stupid one,+ or of what benefit is it that the poor man knows how to survive?*  Better to enjoy what the eyes see than to wander after one’s desires.* This too is futility, a chasing after the wind. 10  Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is; and he is not able to dispute* with the one more powerful than he. 11  The more words,* the more futility; and what advantage do they bring to man? 12  Who knows what is best for a man to do in life during the few days of his futile life, which he spends like a shadow?+ For who can tell man what will happen under the sun after he is gone?


Or “calamity.”
Or “lacks nothing for his soul.”
Or “his soul.”
Or “and even the grave has not become his.”
Lit., “has more rest.”
Or “soul.”
Lit., “to walk in front of the living.”
Or “than the walking about of the soul.”
Or “plead his cause.”
Or possibly, “things.”

Study Notes