And I have turned, and I see all the oppressions that are
done under the sun, and lo, the tear of the oppressed, and they have no
comforter; and at the hand of their oppressors is power, and they have
And I am praising the dead who have already died above the
living who are yet alive.
And better than both of them is he who hath not yet
been, in that he hath not seen the evil work that hath been done under the sun.
And I have seen all the labour, and all the benefit of the
work, because for it a man is the envy of his neighbour. Even this is
vanity and vexation of spirit.
The fool is clasping his hands, and eating his own flesh:
'Better is a handful with quietness, than two
handfuls with labour and vexation of spirit.'
And I have turned, and I see a vain thing under the sun:
There is one, and there is not a second; even son or brother
he hath not, and there is no end to all his labour! His eye also is not
satisfied with riches, and he saith not, 'For whom am I labouring and
bereaving my soul of good?' This also is vanity, it is a sad travail.
The two are better than the one, in that they have a
good reward by their labour.
For if they fall, the one raiseth up his companion, but wo
to the one who falleth and there is not a second to raise him up!
Also, if two lie down, then they have heat, but how hath one
And if the one strengthen himself, the two stand against
him; and the threefold cord is not hastily broken.
Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish
king, who hath not known to be warned any more.
For from a house of prisoners he hath come out to reign, for
even in his own kingdom he hath been poor.
I have seen all the living, who are walking under the sun,
with the second youth who doth stand in his place;
there is no end to all the people, to all who were before
them; also, the latter rejoice not in him. Surely this also is vanity and
vexation of spirit.