Those Who Have Wealth but Do Not Enjoy It Are Pitiful
1Here is another misfortune that I have seen under the sun, and it is prevalent among humankind. 2God gives a man wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires; yet God does not enable him to enjoy it—instead someone else ends up enjoying it. This is vanity—indeed, it is a grievous ill!
3Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years so that the days of his years are many, if his heart#Or “his soul” is not satisfied with his prosperity#Literally “the good” and he does not receive a proper burial,#Literally “and also there is no burial for him” I deem the stillborn better than him. 4For he comes into vanity and departs into darkness, and his name is shrouded in darkness. 5He has neither seen nor known the sun, yet he has more rest than him. 6Even if a man#Hebrew “he” lives a thousand years twice, if he#Hebrew “and” does not enjoy prosperity,#Literally “good” both suffer the same fate!#Literally “are not the all going to the same place?”
One Must Learn to Be Content with What One Has
7All of a man’s toil is for his mouth—
yet his appetite is never satisfied.
8So do the wise really have an advantage over fools?
Can the poor really gain anything by knowing how to act in front of others?#Literally “What is there for the poor knowing how to conduct themselves before the living?”
9Better to be content with what your eyes see
than for your soul to constantly crave more.#Literally “Sight of the eyes is better than wandering of desire”
This also is vanity and chasing wind!
It is Futile for Humans to Complain about God’s Irresistible Will
10Whatever is—it was already determined,
what will be—it has already been decided.#Literally “and his name is known what he is man”
As for man, he cannot argue
against what is more powerful than him.
11Increasing words only multiplies futility,#Literally “Where there are numerous words, it makes numerous vanity”
how does that profit anyone?
The Future is Inscrutable to Humans
12For who knows what is good for a man in his life during the few days of his fleeting life, which are fleeting as a shadow? For who can tell anyone what will happen in the future#Literally “after him” under the sun?