Eccl 1:3

1:3 gain. The idea that life’s labor is unprofitable, presented here as a rhetorical question, is stated directly in 2:11.

under the sun. This phrase is synonymous with “under heaven” and “on earth.” Paul’s equivalent is “the present evil age” (Gal. 1:4). The energies poured into earthly kingdoms are often of no value to the kingdom of heaven (Mark 8:36). By contrast, the work of the Lord is not in vain (John 6:27–29; 1 Cor. 15:58).