Ecclesiastes 4 Darby’s Translation

4 1  And I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors was power, and they had no comforter. 2  Then I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive; 3  and more fortunate than both is he who hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

4  And I saw all labour, and all success of work, that it is man's jealousy of his neighbour. This also is vanity and pursuit of the wind. 5  The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh. 6  Better is a handful with quietness, than both hands full with labour and pursuit of the wind.

7  And I returned and saw vanity under the sun. 8  There is one [alone] and without a second; also he hath neither son nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour, neither is his eye satisfied with riches, and [he saith not], For whom then am I labouring, and depriving my soul of good? This also is vanity and a grievous occupation. 9  Two are better than one; because 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 falleth, and who hath not another to lift him up! 11  Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one alone be warm? 12  And if a [man] overpower the one, the two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

13  Better is a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king, who knoweth no more how to be admonished. 14  For out of the prison-house he came forth to reign, although he was born poor in his kingdom. 15  I saw all the living that walk under the sun, with the child, the second, that should stand up in his stead. 16  [There is] no end of all the people, of all that stood before them; those however that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after the wind.

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