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Ecclesiastes - Chapter 6

Ecclesiastes Chapters

1 I see another evil under the sun, which goes hard with people:

2 suppose someone has received from God riches, property, honours -- nothing at all left to wish for; but God does not give the chance to enjoy them, and some stranger enjoys them. This is futile, and grievous suffering too.

3 Or take someone who has had a hundred children and lived for many years, and, having reached old age, has never enjoyed the good things of life and has not even got a tomb; it seems to me, a still-born child is happier.

4 In futility it came, into darkness it departs, and in darkness will its name be buried.

5 It has never so much as seen or known the sun; all the same, it will rest more easily than that person,

6 who would never have known the good things of life, even by living a thousand years twice over. Do we not all go to the same place in the end?

7 All toil is for the mouth, yet the appetite is never satisfied.

8 What advantage has the wise over the fool? And what of the pauper who knows how to behave in society?

9 Better the object seen than the sting of desire: for the latter too is futile and chasing after the wind.

10 What has been is already defined -- we know what people are: They cannot bring to justice one who is stronger than themselves.

11 The more we say, the more futile it is: what good can we derive from it?

12 And who knows what is best for someone during life, during the days of futile life which are spent like a shadow? Who can tell anyone what will happen after him under the sun?


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The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.

Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.

Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.

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