Eclesiastes 4

1 I returned and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed for they had no one to comfort them. The oppressors had power but they had no one to comfort them.

2 I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

3 Better off then both of them is the one who has not ever been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

4 I have learned why people work so hard to succeed. It is because they envy the things their neighbors have. But it is vanity! It is like chasing the wind.

5 They say that we would be fools to fold our hands and let ourselves starve to death.

6 One hand full of quietness is better than two hands full of trouble and striving after wind.

7 Then I came back and saw vanity under the sun.

8 There is a man who is by himself, without a companion. He is without son or brother. There is no end to all his work. He never has enough wealth. Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. He never asks: »For whom do I labor and deprive myself of pleasure?« This too is vanity and a terrible problem.

9 Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor.

10 If they fall, the one will lift up his companion. Woe to him who is alone when he falls for he has no one to help him.

11 If two lies down together they keep warm. How can one be warm alone?

12 One can be overpowered by another, two can withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

13 Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king who will no longer take advise.

14 He comes out of prison to rule as king. He that is born in his kingdom becomes poor.

15 I considered all the living that walk under the sun, with the second child that will stand up in the king’s place.

16 There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them. Those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.