New American Standard Bible
The Evils of Oppression
4 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. 2 So (C)I congratulated the dead who are already dead, more than the living who are still living. 3 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.
4 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. 5 The fool (G)folds his hands and (H)consumes his own flesh. 6 One hand full of rest is (I)better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.
7 Then I looked again at futility under the sun. 8 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.Read full chapter
- Ecclesiastes 4:8 Lit second