1 Then I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and, look, the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
2 Therefore I praised the dead who have been long dead more than the living who are yet alive;
3 yes, better than them both [did I esteem] him who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4 Then I saw all labor and every skillful work, that for this a man is envied of his fellow man. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
5 The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh.
6 Better is a handful, with quietness, than two handfuls with labor and striving after wind.
7 Then I returned and saw vanity under the sun.
8 There is one who is alone, and he has not a second; yes, he has neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches. For whom then, [he says], do I labor, and deprive my soul of good? This also is vanity, yes, it is an intense travail.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his partner; but woe to him who is alone when he falls, and does not have another to lift him up.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm [alone]?
12 And if a man prevails against him who is alone, two will withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king, who doesn't know how to receive admonition anymore.
14 For out of prison he came forth to be king; yes, even in his kingdom he was born poor.
15 I saw all the living that walk under the sun, that they were with the youth, the second, that stood up in his stead.
16 There was no end of all the people, even of all those over whom he was: yet those who come after will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.