1Here is a tragedy I have observed under the sun, # Ec 5:13 and it weighs heavily on humanity: # Or it is common among men 2God gives a man riches, wealth, and honor # 1Kg 3:13 so that he lacks nothing of all he desires for himself, # Ps 17:14; 73:7 but God does not allow him to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger will enjoy them. This is futile and a sickening tragedy. 3A man may father a hundred children and live many years. No matter how long he lives, # Lit how many years if he is not satisfied by good things and does not even have a proper burial, # Is 14:20; Jr 8:2; 22:19 I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. # Jb 3:16; Ec 4:3 4For he comes in futility and he goes in darkness, and his name is shrouded in darkness. 5Though a stillborn child does not see the sun and is not conscious, it has more rest than he. 6And if he lives a thousand years twice, but does not experience happiness, do not both go to the same place?
7All man’s labor is for his stomach, # Lit mouth # Pr 16:26
yet the appetite is never satisfied.
8What advantage then does the wise man have over the fool? # Ec 2:15 What advantage is there for the poor person who knows how to conduct himself before others? 9Better what the eyes see than wandering desire. # Ec 11:9 This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. # Ec 1:14
10Whatever exists was given its name long ago, # Lit name already # Gn 2:19; Ec 1:9-10; 3:15 and it is known what man is. But he is not able to contend with the One stronger than he. # Jb 9:32; Is 45:9 11For when there are many words, they increase futility. # Pr 10:19; Mt 6:7 What is the advantage for man? 12For who knows what is good for man in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? # Ec 3:22 Who can tell man what will happen after him under the sun?