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There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor so that there is no want in his life from among anything that he desires; yet God does not give him ability to eat from them because another man eats and enjoys from his possessions. This is vanity and a tormenting injustice.

If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he— for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered up. Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. Though the man may live a thousand years, twice over, yet he does not see the good things. Does not everyone go to the same place?

All the labor of man is for his mouth,
    yet his appetite is not satisfied.
For what benefit is there for the wise
    over the fool?
And what more does the poor man know
    who walks before others?
Better to be content with the sight of eyes
    than to have a wandering appetite.
This is vanity
    and like chasing the wind.

10 Whatever happens, it has already been given a name,
    and it is known what man is;
he cannot contend with Him who is stronger than he.
11 The more words,
    the more vanity,
    so what profit is there to mankind?

12 For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life which pass like a shadow? For who can tell men what will be after them under the sun?