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Futility of Living Without God

There is a misery that I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy upon humanity. God gives a man riches, wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing that his heart desires, yet God does not enable him to eat from it—instead a foreigner will eat it. This is fruitless—an agonizing illness.

Even if a man should father a hundred children and live many years, however many the days of his years may be, yet his soul is never satisfied with his prosperity and he does not have a proper burial, then I say that it is better for the stillborn than him. Even though it comes in futility and departs into darkness, though its name is shrouded in darkness, though it has never seen or experienced the sun, it has more rest than the other. Even if the other man were to live a thousand years twice and never enjoy good things—do not all go to the same place?

All a man’s labor is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied. So what advantage has the wise over the fool? What does the pauper gain by knowing how to walk before the living? Better is what the eyes see than the pursuit of the soul’s desires. This too is fleeting and striving after wind.

10 Whatever exists has already been named, and it has been made known what humanity is. But man cannot contend with the One who is mightier than he. 11 When there are many words, futility increases! How does that benefit anyone?

12 For who knows what is good for one during his life—during the few days of his fleeting life—that pass like a shadow? For who can tell a person what happens after him under the sun?