1 I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men:
2 God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.
3 A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.
4 It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded.
5 Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man–
6 even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?
7 All man’s efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied.
8 What advantage has a wise man over a fool? What does a poor man gain by knowing how to conduct himself before others?
9 Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
10 Whatever exists has already been named, and what man is has been known; no man can contend with one who is stronger than he.
11 The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?
12 For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?