Ecclesiastes 3:9–8:17

jWhat profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I have seen the ktravail, which lGod hath given to the sons of men kto be exercised in it. 11 He hath made every thing mbeautiful nin his time: also he hath oset the world in their heart, so that pno man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 12 I know qthat there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and rto do good in his life. 13 And also sthat every man should eat and drink, and tenjoy the good of all his labour, uit is the gift of God. 14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: xnothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. 15 yThat which hath been is znow; and that which is to be hath zalready been; and God arequireth that which is past.

16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that bwickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 17 I said in mine heart, aGod shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is ca time dthere for every purpose and for every work.

18 I said in mine heart econcerning the estate of the sons of men, ||that God might fmanifest them, and that they might see gthat they themselves are beasts. 19 For hthat which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even ione thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20 All go unto one place; kall are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knoweth lthe spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? 22 Wherefore I perceive mthat there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for nthat is his portion: for who shall bring him to see owhat shall be after him?

4 So aI returned, and considered all the boppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had cno comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had cno comforter. Wherefore dI praised the dead which are ealready dead more than the living which are fyet alive. Yea, better is he than both they, dgwhich hath not fyet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man iis envied of his neighbour. This is also jvanity and vexation of spirit. The fool kfoldeth his hands together, and leateth his own flesh. mBetter is an handful with nquietness, than both the hands full with travail and jvexation of spirit.

Then oI returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his peye satisfied with riches; neither qsaith he, rFor whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore stravail. Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but twoe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but uhow can one be warm alone? 12 And if one xprevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a ythreefold cord is not quickly broken.

13 zBetter is a apoor and a wise child than an old and bfoolish king, who will no more be cadmonished. 14 dFor out of eprison he cometh to reign; fwhereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor. 15 I considered all the living which walk under the sun, gwith the second child that shall stand up in his stead. 16 There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: hthey also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is ivanity and vexation of spirit.

5 aKeep thy foot when thou goest to aathe house of God, and be more ready to hear, bthan to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. cBe not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any ||thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be dfew. For a dream cometh through the multitude of ebusiness; and a fool’s voice is known fby multitude of words. gWhen thou vowest a vow unto God, hdefer not to pay it; for he hath no ipleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. jSuffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before kthe angel, that it was lan error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but mfear thou God.

nIf thou seest othe oppression of the poor, and oviolent perverting of judgment and justice in a pprovince, marvel not at the matter: for qhe that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

Moreover rthe profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. 10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth sabundance with increase: this is also vanity. 11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what tgood is there to uthe owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? 12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

13 xThere is ya sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for uthe owners thereof to their hurt. 14 But those riches perish by evil ztravail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 15 aAs he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. 16 And this also is ya sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and bwhat profit hath he that hath claboured for the wind? 17 All his days also dhe eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

18 Behold that which I have seen: eit is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to fenjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for git is his portion. 19 Every man also hto whom God hath given riches and iwealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; kthis is the gift of God. 20 ||For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

6 aThere is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: A man bto whom cGod hath given criches, dwealth, and chonour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God bgiveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease. If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that ethe days of his years be many, and eehis soul be not filled with good, and also fthat he have no burial; I say, that gan untimely birth is better than he. For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and hhis name shall be covered with darkness. Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more irest than the other. Yea, kthough he live a thousand years twice told, yet eehath he lseen no good: do not all go to one place?

mAll the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the nappetite is not filled. For what hath the wise omore than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living? Better is pthe sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also qvanity and vexation of spirit. 10 That which hath been his named ralready, and it is known that it is man: sneither may he contend with him that is tmightier than he. 11 Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man othe better? 12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as ua shadow? for xwho can tell a man ywhat shall be after him under the sun?

7 A agood bname is better than precious bointment; and cthe day of death than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will dlay it to his heart. ||eSorrow is better than laughter: ffor by the sadness of the countenance gthe heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. hIt is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. For ias the crackling of thorns under a pot, kso is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

Surely loppression mmaketh a wise man mad; and na gift destroyeth the heart. Better is othe end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and pthe patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. qBe not hasty in thy spirit pto be angry: for anger rresteth in the bosom of fools. 10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this. 11 Wisdom is ||good with an inheritance: and by it there is sprofit tto them that see the sun. 12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the uexcellency of knowledge is, that wisdom wgiveth life to xthem that have it. 13 Consider the work of God: for who can ymake that straight, which he hath yzmade crooked? 14 aIn the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, bto the end that man should find nothing after him.

15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: cthere is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that …

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