41 Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun . And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power , but they had no one to comfort them. 2 So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living . 3 But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed , who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun .

4 I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor . This too is vanity and striving after wind . 5 The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh . 6 One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind .

7 Then I looked again at vanity under the sun . 8 There was a certain man without a dependent , having neither e a son nor a brother , yet there was no end to all his labor . Indeed , his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, "And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure ?" This too is vanity and it is a grievous task . 9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor . 10 For if either of them falls , the one will lift up his companion . But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore , if two lie down together they keep warm , but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist e him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart .

13 A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction . 14 For he has come out of prison e to become king , even though he was born poor in his kingdom . 15 I have seen all the living under the sun throng to the side of the second lad who replaces e him. 16 There is no end to all the people , to all who were before them, and even the ones who will come later will not be happy with him, for this too is vanity and striving after wind .