Nonfiction > The Bible > Harvard Classics > Ecclesiastes
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
[1]    THEN I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and, behold, the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
[2]  Wherefore I praised the dead that have been long dead more than the living that are yet alive;
[3]  yea, better 1 than them both did I esteem him that hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
[4]    Then I saw all labor and every skilful 2 work, that for 3 this a man is envied of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
[5]  The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.
[6]  Better is a handful, with 4 quietness, than two handfuls with 5 labor and striving after wind.
[7]    Then I returned and saw vanity under the sun.
[8]  There is one that is alone, and he hath not a second; yea, he hath neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches. For whom then, saith he, do I labor, and deprive my soul of good? This also is vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
[9]  Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
[10]  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, and hath not another to lift him up.
[11]  Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?
[12]  And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
[13]    Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king, who knoweth not how to receive admonition any more.
[14]  For out of prison he came forth to be king; yea, even in his kingdom he was born poor. I saw all the living that walk under the sun, that they were with the youth, the second, that stood up in his stead.
[15]  There 6 was no end of all the people, even of all them over whom he was: yet they that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Note 1. Or, better than they both is he that &c. [back]
Note 2. Or, successful. [back]
Note 3. Or, it cometh of a man’s rivalry with his neighbor. [back]
Note 4. Or, of. [back]
Note 5. Or, of. [back]
Note 6. Or, There is no end, in the mind of all the people, to all that hath been before them; they also &c. [back]


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