1There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy upon men: 2a man to whom God giveth riches, wealth, and honour, so that he lacketh nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it; this is vanity, and it is an evil disease. 3If a man beget an hundred children and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, but his soul be not filled with good, and moreover he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he: 4for it cometh in vanity, and departeth in darkness, and the name thereof is covered with darkness; 5moreover it hath not seen the sun nor known it; this hath rest rather than the other: 6yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, and yet enjoy no good: do not all go to one place?
7All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled. 8For what advantage hath the wise more than the fool? or what hath the poor man, that knoweth to walk before the living? 9Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this also is vanity and a striving after wind. 10Whatsoever hath been, the name thereof was given long ago, and it is known that it is man: neither can he contend with him that is mightier than he.
11Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? 12For who knoweth what is good for man in his life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?