The Uselessness of Selfish Toil

Then I returned and considered all the (A)oppression that is done under the sun:

And look! The tears of the oppressed,
But they have no comforter—
[a]On the side of their oppressors there is power,
But they have no comforter.
(B)Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead,
More than the living who are still alive.
(C)Yet, better than both is he who has never existed,
Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

The Vanity of Selfish Toil

Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

(D)The fool folds his hands
And consumes his own flesh.
(E)Better a handful with quietness
Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.

Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:

There is one alone, without [b]companion:
He has neither son nor brother.
Yet there is no end to all his labors,
Nor is his (F)eye satisfied with riches.
But (G)he never asks,
“For whom do I toil and deprive myself of (H)good?”
This also is vanity and a [c]grave misfortune.

The Value of a Friend

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Popularity Passes Away

13 Better a poor and wise youth
Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.
14 For he comes out of prison to be king,
Although [d]he was born poor in his kingdom.
15 I saw all the living who walk under the sun;
They were with the second youth who stands in his place.
16 There was no end of all the people [e]over whom he was made king;
Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him.
Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Fear God, Keep Your Vows

Walk (I)prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather (J)than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.

Do not be (K)rash with your mouth,
And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.
For God is in heaven, and you on earth;
Therefore let your words (L)be few.
For a dream comes through much activity,
And (M)a fool’s voice is known by his many words.

(N)When you make a vow to God, do not delay to (O)pay it;
For He has no pleasure in fools.
Pay what you have vowed—
(P)Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

Do not let your (Q)mouth cause your flesh to sin, (R)nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your [f]excuse and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But (S)fear God.

The Vanity of Gain and Honor

If you (T)see the oppression of the poor, and the violent [g]perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for (U)high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.

Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field.

10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver;
Nor he who loves abundance, with increase.
This also is vanity.

11 When goods increase,
They increase who eat them;
So what profit have the owners
Except to see them with their eyes?

12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet,
Whether he eats little or much;
But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.

13 (V)There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun:
Riches kept for their owner to his hurt.
14 But those riches perish through [h]misfortune;
When he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand.
15 (W)As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return,
To go as he came;
And he shall take nothing from his labor
Which he may carry away in his hand.

16 And this also is a severe evil—
Just exactly as he came, so shall he go.
And (X)what profit has he (Y)who has labored for the wind?
17 All his days (Z)he also eats in darkness,
And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger.

18 Here is what I have seen: (AA)It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; (AB)for it is his [i]heritage. 19 As for (AC)every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his [j]heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the (AD)gift of God. 20 For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.

Wealth Is Not the Goal of Life

There(AE) is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, (AF)so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; (AG)yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil [k]affliction.

If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or (AH)indeed he has no burial, I say that (AI)a [l]stillborn child is better than he— for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, even if he lives a thousand years twice—but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one (AJ)place?

(AK)All the labor of man is for his mouth,
And yet the soul is not satisfied.
For what more has the wise man than the fool?
What does the poor man have,
Who knows how to walk before the living?
Better is [m]the (AL)sight of the eyes than the wandering of [n]desire.
This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

10 Whatever one is, he has been named (AM)already,
For it is known that he is man;
(AN)And he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.
11 Since there are many things that increase vanity,
How is man the better?

12 For who knows what is good for man in life, [o]all the days of his [p]vain life which he passes like (AO)a shadow? (AP)Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?


  1. Ecclesiastes 4:1 Lit. At the hand
  2. Ecclesiastes 4:8 Lit. a second
  3. Ecclesiastes 4:8 Lit. evil task
  4. Ecclesiastes 4:14 The youth
  5. Ecclesiastes 4:16 Lit. to all before whom he was to be
  6. Ecclesiastes 5:6 Lit. voice
  7. Ecclesiastes 5:8 wresting
  8. Ecclesiastes 5:14 Lit. bad business
  9. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Lit. portion
  10. Ecclesiastes 5:19 Lit. portion
  11. Ecclesiastes 6:2 disease
  12. Ecclesiastes 6:3 Or miscarriage
  13. Ecclesiastes 6:9 What the eyes see
  14. Ecclesiastes 6:9 Lit. soul
  15. Ecclesiastes 6:12 Lit. the number of the days
  16. Ecclesiastes 6:12 futile

14 (A)Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For (B)what [a]fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what [b]communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For (C)you[c] are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

(D)“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

(E)“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I (F)will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My (G)sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

The Corinthians’ Repentance

Therefore,(H) having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The Corinthians’ Repentance

Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, (I)we have cheated no one. I do not say this to condemn; for (J)I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. (K)Great is my boldness of speech toward you, (L)great is my boasting on your behalf. (M)I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.

For indeed, (N)when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but (O)we were troubled on every side. (P)Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless (Q)God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by (R)the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the [d]consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.


  1. 2 Corinthians 6:14 in common
  2. 2 Corinthians 6:14 fellowship
  3. 2 Corinthians 6:16 NU we
  4. 2 Corinthians 7:7 comfort

Praise to God, the Ruler of the Earth

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

47 Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great (A)King over all the earth.
(B)He will subdue the peoples under us,
And the nations under our feet.
He will choose our (C)inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah

(D)God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
(E)For God is the King of all the earth;
(F)Sing praises with understanding.

(G)God reigns over the nations;
God (H)sits on His (I)holy throne.
The princes of the people have gathered together,
(J)The people of the God of Abraham.
(K)For the shields of the earth belong to God;
He is greatly exalted.

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16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches,
And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.

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