English Standard Version Anglicised
Evil Under the Sun
4 (A)Again I (B)saw all (C)the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had (D)no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. 2 And I (E)thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. 3 But (F)better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbour. This also is (G)vanity and a striving after wind.
7 (L)Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his (M)eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, (N)“For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy (O)business.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, (P)but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 Better was (Q)a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how (R)to take advice. 14 For he went (S)from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor. 15 I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that[a] youth who was to stand in the king's[b] place. 16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is (T)vanity and a striving after wind.
New International Version
Oppression, Toil, Friendlessness
4 Again I looked and saw all the oppression(A) that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
and they have no comforter.(B)
2 And I declared that the dead,(C)
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.(D)
3 But better than both
is the one who has never been born,(E)
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun.(F)
4 And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.(G)
7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8 There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content(J) with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Advancement Is Meaningless
13 Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning. 14 The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. 15 I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor. 16 There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.