Chapter 6

The Futility of Life

1 There is an aevil which I have seen under the sun and it is prevalent 1among men—

2 a man to whom God has agiven riches and wealth and honor so that his soul blacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner 1enjoys them. This is 2vanity and a severe affliction.

3 If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many 1they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper aburial, then I say, “Better bthe 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; 1it is better off than he.

6 “Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not 1enjoy good things—ado not all go to one place?”

7 aAll a man’s labor is for his mouth and yet the 1appetite is not 2satisfied.

8 For awhat 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 asee is better than what the soul 1desires. This too is bfutility and a striving after wind.

10 Whatever aexists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he bcannot 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 1years of his futile life? He will 2spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man awhat will be after him under the sun?


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