The Futility of Life

1 There is an (A)evil which I have seen under the sun and it is prevalent (a)among men— 2 a man to whom God has (B)given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul (C)lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner (b)enjoys them. This is (c)vanity and a severe affliction. 3 If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many (d)they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper (D)burial, then I say, “Better (E)the miscarriage than he, 4 for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity. 5 It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; (e)it is better off than he. 6 Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not (f)enjoy good things—(F)do not all go to one place?”
7 (G)All a man’s labor is for his mouth and yet the (g)appetite is not (h)satisfied. 8 For (H)what advantage does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living? 9 What the eyes (I)see is better than what the soul (i)desires. This too is (J)futility and a striving after wind.
10 Whatever (K)exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he (L)cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is. 11 For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man? 12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few (j)years of his futile life? He will (k)spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man (M)what will be after him under the sun?


a. Ecclesiastes 6:1: ['Lit ', upon]
b. Ecclesiastes 6:2: ['Lit ', eats from them]
c. Ecclesiastes 6:2: ['Or ', futility]
d. Ecclesiastes 6:3: ['Lit ', the days of his years]
e. Ecclesiastes 6:5: ['Lit ', more rest has this one than that]
f. Ecclesiastes 6:6: ['Lit ', see]
g. Ecclesiastes 6:7: ['Lit ', soul]
h. Ecclesiastes 6:7: ['Lit ', filled]
i. Ecclesiastes 6:9: ['Lit ', goes after]
j. Ecclesiastes 6:12: ['Lit ', days]
k. Ecclesiastes 6:12: ['Lit ', do]

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