The Futility of Life
6 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is widespread [a]among mankind: 2 a person to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God has not given him the opportunity to [b]enjoy these things, but a foreigner [c]enjoys them. This is futility and a severe affliction. 3 If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many [d]they may be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, “Better the miscarriage than he, 4 for a miscarriage comes in futility and goes into darkness; and its name is covered in darkness. 5 It has not even seen the sun nor does it know it; yet [e]it is better off than that man. 6 Even if the man lives a thousand years twice, but does not see good things—do not all go to one and the same place?”
7 All a person’s labor is for his mouth, and yet [f]his appetite is not [g]satisfied. 8 For what advantage does the wise person have over the fool? What does the poor person have, knowing how to walk before the living? 9 What the eyes see is better than what the soul [h]desires. This too is futility and striving after wind.
10 Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with the [i]one who is mightier than he is. 11 For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a person? 12 For who knows what is good for a person during his lifetime, during the few [j]years of his futile life? He will [k]spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a person what will happen after him under the sun?