Ecclesiastes 6
International Standard VersionNET Bible
1There exists another misfortune that I have observed on earth, and it is a heavy burden upon human beings: 1Here is another misfortune that I have seen on earth, and it weighs heavily on people:
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.2God gives a man riches, property, and wealth so that he lacks nothing that his heart desires, yet God does not enable him to enjoy the fruit of his labor--instead, someone else enjoys it! This is fruitless and a grave misfortune.
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, 3Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years--even if he lives a long, long time, but cannot enjoy his prosperity--even if he were to live forever--I would say, "A stillborn child is better off than he is!"
4because stillborn children arrive in pointlessness, leave in darkness, and their names are covered in darkness. 4Though the stillborn child came into the world for no reason and departed into darkness, though its name is shrouded in darkness,
5Furthermore, though they never saw the sun nor learned anything, they are more content than the other. 5though it never saw the light of day nor knew anything, yet it has more rest than that man--
6Even if he lives a thousand years twice over without experiencing the best—aren't all of them going to the same place?6if he should live a thousand years twice, yet does not enjoy his prosperity. For both of them die!
7Every person works for his own self-interests, but his desires remain unsatisfied.7All of man's labor is for nothing more than to fill his stomach--yet his appetite is never satisfied!
8For what advantage has the wise person over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have in knowing how to face life? 8So what advantage does a wise man have over a fool? And what advantage does a pauper gain by knowing how to survive?
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.9It is better to be content with what the eyes can see than for one's heart always to crave more. This continual longing is futile--like chasing the 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 happened was foreordained, and what happens to a person was also foreknown. It is useless for him to argue with God about his fate because God is more powerful than he is.
11Because many words lead to pointlessness, how do people benefit from this?11The more one argues with words, the less he accomplishes. How does that benefit him?
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 no one knows what is best for a person during his life--during the few days of his fleeting life--for they pass away like a shadow. Nor can anyone tell him what the future will hold for him on earth.
The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
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Ecclesiastes 5
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