JPS Tanakh 1917
1But I returned and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun; and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power, but they had no comforter. 2Wherefore I praised the dead that are already dead more than the living that are yet alive; 3but better than they both is he that hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4Again, I considered all labour and all excelling in work, that it is a man’s rivalry with his neighbour. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
5The fool foldeth his hands together,
And eateth his own flesh.
6Better is a handful of quietness,
Than both the hands full of labour and striving after wind.
7Then I returned and saw vanity under the sun. 8There is one that is alone, and he hath not a second; yea, he hath neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labour, neither is his eye satisfied with riches: ‘for whom then do I labour, and bereave my soul of pleasure?’ This also is vanity, yea, it is a grievous business. 9Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, and hath not another to lift him up. 11Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? 12And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who knoweth not how to receive admonition any more. 14For out of prison he came forth to be king; although in his kingdom he was born poor. 15I saw all the living that walk under the sun, that they were with the child, the second, that was to stand up in his stead. 16There was no end of all the people, even of all them whom he did lead; yet they that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.