1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. 2 Therefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive. 3 Yea, better is he than both, who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4 Again, I considered all toil, and every skillful work, that for this a man is envied by his neighbor. This is also vanity and grasping after the wind.
5 The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh. 6 Better is a handful with quietness, than both hands full with toil and grasping for the wind.
7 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. 8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he has neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither says he, For whom do I labor, and deprive my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a heavy travail.
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no longer be admonished. 14 For out of prison he comes to reign; yet he that is born in his kingdom might become poor. 15 I considered all the living who walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his place. 16 There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after him shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping after the wind.