Ecclesiastes 6International Standard Version (ISV)
Enjoyment of Life as a Gift from God
6 There exists another misfortune that I have observed on earth, and it is a heavy burden upon human beings: 2 a man to whom God gives wealth, riches, and honor, so that he lacks none of his heart’s desires—but God does not give him the capability to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger consumes them. This is pointless and a grievous affliction.
3 A man might father a hundred children,[a] and live for many years, so that the length of his life[b] is long—but if his life does not overflow with goodness, and he doesn’t receive a proper[c] burial, I maintain that stillborn children[d] are better off than he is, 4 because stillborn children[e] arrive in pointlessness, leave in darkness, and their names are covered in darkness. 5 Furthermore, though they never saw the sun nor learned anything,[f] they are more content than the other. 6 Even if he lives a thousand years twice over without experiencing the best—aren’t all of them going to the same place?
7 Every person works for his own self-interests,[g] but his desires remain unsatisfied. 8 For what advantage has the wise person over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have in knowing how to face life?[h] 9 It is better to focus on what you can see than to meander after your self-interest; this also is pointless and a chasing after wind.
10 Whatever exists has been named already;[i] people know what it means[j] to be human— and a person cannot defeat one who is more powerful than he. 11 Because many words lead to pointlessness, how do people benefit from this?
12 Who knows what is best for people in this life, every day of their pointless lives that they pass through[k] like a shadow? Who informs people on earth what will come along after them?
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