1 Then I looked again at all the oppression that is done under the sun: And see! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter; and power on the side of their oppressors, but they have no comforter.
2 Therefore I commended the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive.
3 And better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4 And I saw that all the toil and skill of the work bring envy between man and his neighbour. That too is futile and feeding on wind.
5 The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.
6 Better is a hand filled with rest than both hands filled with toil and feeding on wind.
7 Then I looked again at futility under the sun:
8 There is one, without a second, who has neither son nor brother. And there is no end to all his labours. His eye also is not satisfied with riches. 'And for whom am I toiling and depriving myself of good?' That too is futility, and an evil task.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour.
10 For if they fall, one lifts his companion up. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they keep warm; but how does one keep warm by himself?
12 Although one might be overpowered, two withstand him. And a threefold cord is not readily broken.
13 A poor and wise youth is better than an old and foolish sovereign who no longer knows how to take warning.
14 For he comes out of prison to be sovereign, although in his reign he was born poor.
15 I have seen all the living who walk under the sun; they were with the second youth who stands in his place.
16 There was no end of all the people; all of whom he headed. But the ones who come afterward do not rejoice in him. For that too is futile and feeding on wind.