1 And I turned about, and beheld all the oppressed that are made so under the sun: and, behold, there are the tears of the oppressed, and they have no comforter; and from the hand of their oppressors they suffer violence; and they have no comforter.
2 Thereupon praised I the dead that are already dead, more than the living who are still alive;
3 And as happier than both of them, him who hath not yet come into being, who hath not seen the evildoing that is done under the sun.
4 Again, I beheld all the toil, and all the energy in doing, that it is from the envy of one man of his neighbor. Also this is vanity and a torture of the spirit.
5 The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.
6 Better is a handful of quiet, than both the hands full of toil and torture of spirit.
7 Then I turned about, and I saw a vanity under the sun.
8 There is one alone, and he hath not a companion; yea, he hath neither son nor brother: yet is there no end to all his toil; his eye also is not satisfied with riches. Yet for whom do I toil, and deprive my soul of good? Also this is vanity, yea, it is a bad employment.
9 Two are better than one; because they will have a good reward for their toil.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to the single one that falleth; for he hath no companion to lift him up.
11 Also, if two lie together, then will they become warm; but how can one person alone become warm?
12 And if a man could overpower him, the single one, two would stand up against him: and a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn asunder.
13 Better is a poor and a wise youth than an old and foolish king, who knoweth not how to be admonished any more.
14 For out of the prison cometh the one to reign: whereas also in his kingdom the other becometh poor.
15 I have seen all the living who walk under the sun, being with the second child that is to stand up in his stead.
16 There was no end to all the people, belonging to all that have been before them: they also that come after will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a torture of the spirit.