Ecclesiastes 6
International Standard VersionEnglish Standard Version
1There exists another misfortune that I have observed on earth, and it is a heavy burden upon human beings: 1There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind:
2a 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.2a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.
3A man might father a hundred children, and live for many years, so that the length of his life is long—but if his life does not overflow with goodness, and he doesn't receive a proper burial, I maintain that stillborn children are better off than he is, 3If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.
4because stillborn children arrive in pointlessness, leave in darkness, and their names are covered in darkness. 4For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered.
5Furthermore, though they never saw the sun nor learned anything, they are more content than the other. 5Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he.
6Even if he lives a thousand years twice over without experiencing the best—aren't all of them going to the same place?6Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place?
7Every person works for his own self-interests, but his desires remain unsatisfied.7All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.
8For what advantage has the wise person over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have in knowing how to face life? 8For what advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living?
9It 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.9Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
10Whatever exists has been named already; people know what it means to be human— and a person cannot defeat one who is more powerful than he.10Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he.
11Because many words lead to pointlessness, how do people benefit from this?11The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man?
12Who knows what is best for people in this life, every day of their pointless lives that they pass through like a shadow? Who informs people on earth what will come along after them?12For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?
The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
ESV Text Edition: 2016. The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.
Ecclesiastes 5
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