Ecclesiastes - Chapter 4

Ecclesiastes - Chapter 4


1 Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter -- On the side of their oppressors [there is] power, But they have no comforter.

2 Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive.

3 Yet, better than both [is he] who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.


4 Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.

5 The fool folds his hands And consumes his own flesh.

6 Better a handful [with] quietness Than both hands full, [together with] toil and grasping for the wind.

Benefit of the Community

7 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:

8 There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet [there is] no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. [But he never asks,] "For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?" This also [is] vanity and a grave misfortune.

9 Two [are] better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.

10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him [who is] alone when he falls, For [he has] no one to help him up.

11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm [alone?]

12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Prevention of Grace to People - Vanity

13 Better a poor and wise youth Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.

14 For he comes out of prison to be king, Although he was born poor in his kingdom.

15 I saw all the living who walk under the sun; They were with the second youth who stands in his place.

16 [There was] no end of all the people over whom he was made king; Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.