The Evils of Oppression

Then I looked again at all the acts of (A)oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold, I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had (B)no one to comfort them; and power was on the side of their oppressors, but they had no one to comfort them. So (C)I congratulated the dead who are already dead, more than the living who are still living. But (D)better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun.

I have seen that every labor and every (E)skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a person and his neighbor. This too is (F)futility and striving after wind. The fool (G)folds his hands and (H)consumes his own flesh. One hand full of rest is (I)better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.

Then I looked again at futility under the sun. There was a man without a [a]dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, (J)his eyes were not satisfied with riches, and he never asked, “And (K)for whom do I labor and deprive myself of pleasure?” This too is futility, and it is an (L)unhappy task.

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Footnotes

  1. Ecclesiastes 4:8 Lit second