Ecclesiastes 4:1-16 NIV84

Ecclesiastes 4:1-16 NIV84 [1] Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed---and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors---and they have no comforter. [2] And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive. [3] But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun. [4] And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. [5] The fool folds his hands and ruins himself. [6] Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. [7] Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: [8] There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless---a miserable business! [9] Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: [10] If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! [11] Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? [12] Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. [13] Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning. [14] The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. [15] I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king's successor. [16] There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

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