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The Existence of Oppression in the World Makes Human Existence Miserable

4 I looked again, and I saw all the oppression that occurs under the sun.

I saw the tears of the oppressed—

no one comforts them!

Those who oppress them are powerful—

no one can comfort them!a

So I deemed the dead who have already died

more fortunate than the living who are still alive.

But better off than both of them is the one who has not yet been born

and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

People Need Balance in Their Approach to Labor

I also realized that all of the toil and all of the skillful work that is done—it is envy between one man and another.b This also is vanity and chasing wind!

The fool refuses to work with his hands,

so he has nothing to eat except his own skin!c

Better is one handful with peace

than two fists full with toil and chasing wind.

Wealth without Someone with Which to Enjoy It is Futile

I turned again and saw another vanity under the sun. Sometimes a man is all alone with no companion; he also has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eye is not satisfied with wealth. He laments, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myselfd of pleasure?” This also is vanity—it is an unhappy business!

Friends and Family Can Help One Another in Life

Two are better than the one, for they enjoy a better reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will help up his companion. But pity the one who falls and there is no onee to help him up. 11 Also if two lie together, they can keep each other warm.f But how can one person be warm? 12 Although an assailant may overpower one person, two may withstand him.g A threefold cord is not easily broken!h

One Must Be Willing to Listen to Counsel

13 A poor but wise youth is better than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to receive advice.i 14 For he came out of the prison house to reign, since he was born poor in his kingdom.j 15 I saw all the living who move about under the sun with the youth; the second who will stand in his place. 16 There is no end to all the people, to all who were before him. Yet the later generation will not rejoice in him, for this also is vanity and chasing wind!


About The Lexham English Bible

The Lexham English Bible contains a translation of the original languages into smooth, readable English. It also contains copious footnotes which address translation issues, instances of Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, and various textual-critical issues. This translation also indicates the use of idioms in the Greek and Hebrew text. In cases where a literal rendering of Greek or Hebrew would prevent a smooth English translation, footnotes indicate the literal English translation, accompanied by explanatory notes as necessary.


Copyright 2012 Lexham Press. All rights reserved.

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