Riches Are Meaningless

If you see the poor oppressed(A) in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.

10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
    whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
    This too is meaningless.

11 As goods increase,
    so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
    except to feast their eyes on them?

12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
    whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
    permits them no sleep.(B)

13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:(C)

wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14     or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when they have children
    there is nothing left for them to inherit.
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
    and as everyone comes, so they depart.(D)
They take nothing from their toil(E)
    that they can carry in their hands.(F)

16 This too is a grievous evil:

As everyone comes, so they depart,
    and what do they gain,
    since they toil for the wind?(G)
17 All their days they eat in darkness,
    with great frustration, affliction and anger.

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink(H) and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor(I) under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions,(J) and the ability to enjoy them,(K) to accept their lot(L) and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.(M) 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.(N)

Read full chapter

Bible Gateway Recommends

NIV Large-Print Outreach Bible--softcover, orange cross
NIV Large-Print Outreach Bible--softcover, orange cross
Retail: $7.99
Our Price: $5.00
Save: $2.99 (37%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible, Hardcover, Comfort  Print
NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible, Hardcover, Comfort Print
Retail: $54.99
Our Price: $30.49
Save: $24.50 (45%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
NIV Value Outreach Bible, Paperback
NIV Value Outreach Bible, Paperback
Retail: $3.99
Our Price: $2.49
Save: $1.50 (38%)
4.0 of 5.0 stars
NIV Devotional Bible for Men--hardcover, jacketed printed
NIV Devotional Bible for Men--hardcover, jacketed printed
Retail: $34.99
Our Price: $12.99
Save: $22.00 (63%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
Retail: $18.99
Our Price: $7.99
Save: $11.00 (58%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
NIV Super-Giant Print Reference Bible--soft leather-look, brown
NIV Super-Giant Print Reference Bible--soft leather-look, brown
Retail: $49.99
Our Price: $27.49
Save: $22.50 (45%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars

Bible Gateway Sponsors