1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold the tears of the oppressed ones, and they had no comforter! And on the side of those who oppressed them there was power, but they had no comforter. 2 And I commended the dead who already have died, more than the living who are living now. 3 Yea, better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4 Again, I considered all labor, and every right work, that for this a man is envied by his neighbor. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
5 The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh. 6 Better is a hand filled with rest than two fists with travail and vexation of spirit.
7 And I returned and saw vanity under the sun. 8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he has neither son nor brother; yet there is no end to all his labor; and his eyes are not satisfied with riches; and he says, For whom do I labor and take good from my soul? This is also vanity. Yes, it is an evil business.
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 who is alone when he falls, for he does not have another to help him. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one overthrows him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 A poor and a wise child is better than an old and foolish king, who will not be warned any more. 14 For out of prison he comes to reign; although in his kingdom he was born poor. 15 I saw all the living who walk under the sun, with the second child who shall stand up in his place. 16 There is no end of all the people, of all who have been before them; they also who come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.