Chapter 4

1 So I returned, and saw all the oppressions that were done under the sun: and behold the tear of the oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of them that oppressed them was power; but they had no comforter: 2 and I praised all the dead that had already died more than the living, as many as are alive until now. 3 Better also than both these is he who has not yet been, who has not seen all the evil work that is done under the sun.

4 And I saw all labour, and all the 1diligent work, that this is a man's envy from his 2neighbour. This is also vanity and waywardness of spirit. 5 The fool folds his hands together, and eats his own flesh. 6 Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of trouble and waywardness of spirit.

7 So I returned, and saw vanity under the sun. 8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he has neither son nor brother: yet there is no end to all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with wealth; and for whom do I labour, and deprive my soul of good? this is also vanity, and an evil 3trouble. 9 Two are better than one, seeing they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls, and there is not a second to lift him up. 11 Also if two should lie together, they also get heat: but how shall one be warmed alone? 12 And if one should prevail against him, the two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord shall not be quickly broken.

13 Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who knows not how to take heed any longer. 14 For he shall come forth out of the house of the prisoners to reign, because he also that was in his kingdom has become poor. 15 I beheld all the living who were walking under the sun, with the second youth who shall stand up in each one's place. 16 There is no end to all the people, to all who were before them: and the last shall not rejoice in him: for this also is vanity and waywardness of spirit.

17 Keep thy foot, whensoever thou goest to


the house of God; and when thou art near to hear, let thy sacrifice be better than the gift of fools: for they know not that they are doing evil.

Chapter 5

1 Be not hasty with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be swift to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven above, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 2 For through the multitude of trial a dream comes; and a fool's voice is with a multitude of words.

3 Whenever thou shalt vow a vow to God, defer not to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools: pay thou therefore whatsoever thou shalt have vowed. 4 It is better that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 5 Suffer not thy mouth to lead thy flesh to sin; and say not in the presence of God, It was an error: lest God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the works of thy hands. 6 For there is evil in a multitude of dreams and vanities and many words: but fear thou God.

7 If thou shouldest see the oppression of the poor, and the wresting of judgment and of justice in the land, wonder not at the matter: for there is a high one to watch over him that is high, and high ones over them. 8 Also the abundance of the earth is for every one: the king is dependent on the tilled field.

9 He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver: and who has 4loved gain, in the abundance 5thereof? this is also vanity. 10 In the multitude of good they are increased that eat it: and what virtue has the owner, but the 6right of beholding it with his eyes? 11 The sleep of a servant is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but to one who is satiated with wealth, there is none that suffers him to sleep.

12 There is an infirmity which I have seen under the sun, namely, wealth kept for its owner to his hurt. 13 And that wealth shall perish in an evil trouble: and the man begets a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 14 As he came forth naked from his mother's womb, he shall return back as he came, and he shall receive nothing for his labour, that it should go with him in his hand. 15 And this is also an evil infirmity: for as he came, so also shall he return: and what is his gain, for which he vainly labours? 16 Yea, all his days are in darkness, and in mourning, and much 7sorrow, and infirmity, and wrath.

17 Behold, I have seen good, that it is a fine thing for a man to eat and to drink, and to see good in all his labour in which he may labour under the sun, all the number of the days of his life which God has given to him: for it is his portion. 18 Yea, and as for every man to whom God has given wealth and possessions, and has given him power to eat thereof, and to receive his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. 19 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; for God troubles him in the mirth of his heart.

1 Gr. manliness of work.

2 Gr. companion.

3 Gr. distraction.

4 Or, been content with.

5 q.d. of those things.

6 Gr. beginning, or, priority.

7 Or, anger.


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