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Ecclesiastes - Chapter 4

Ecclesiastes Chapters

1 Then again, I contemplate all the oppression that is committed under the sun. Take for instance the tears of the oppressed. No one to comfort them! The power their oppressors wield. No one to comfort them!

2 So, rather than the living who still have lives to live, I congratulate the dead who have already met death;

3 happier than both of these are those who are yet unborn and have not seen the evil things that are done under the sun.

4 I see that all effort and all achievement spring from mutual jealousy. This too is futility and chasing after the wind.

5 The fool folds his arms and eats his own flesh away.

6 Better one hand full of repose than two hands full of achievements to chase after the wind.

7 And something else futile I observe under the sun:

8 a person is quite alone -- no child, no brother; and yet there is no end to his efforts, his eyes can never have their fill of riches. For whom, then, do I work so hard and grudge myself pleasure? This too is futile, a sorry business.

9 Better two than one alone, since thus their work is really rewarding.

10 If one should fall, the other helps him up; but what of the person with no one to help him up when he falls?

11 Again: if two sleep together they keep warm, but how can anyone keep warm alone?

12 Where one alone would be overcome, two will put up resistance; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

13 Better a youngster poor and wise than a monarch old and silly who will no longer take advice-

14 even though stepping from prison to the throne, even though born a beggar in that kingdom.

15 I observe that all who live and move under the sun support the young newcomer who takes over.

16 He takes his place at the head of innumerable subjects; but his successors will not think the more kindly of him for that. This too is futile and chasing after the wind.

17 Watch your step when you go to the House of God: drawing near to listen is better than the offering of a sacrifice by fools, though they do not know that they are doing wrong.


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