1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy on man:
2 a man to whom God gives riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but an alien eats it; this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
3 If a man begets a hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not filled with good, and moreover he has no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he:
4 for he comes in vanity, and departs in darkness, and his name is covered with darkness;
5 moreover he has not seen the sun nor known it; this has rest rather than the other:
6 yes, though he lives a thousand years twice told, and yet enjoys no good, do not all go to one place?
7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
8 For what advantage has the wise more than the fool? [Or] what has the poor man, that knows how to walk before the living?
9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
10 Whatever has been, its name was given long ago; and it is known what man is; neither can he contend with him who is mightier than he.
11 Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is the advantage to man?
12 For who knows what is good for man in [his] life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?