1There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:2A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.3If a man beget an hundred children , and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.4For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.5Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing : this hath more rest than the other.6Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told , yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?7All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.8For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?9Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.10That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.11Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?12For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?
English Standard Version
1There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: (Ec 5:13)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. (1Ki 3:13; Job 21:7; Ps 17:14; Ps 73:7; Ec 5:19; Lu 12:20)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. (Ge 47:8; 2Ki 9:35; Job 3:16; Ec 4:3; Ec 6:6; Isa 14:20; Jer 8:2; Jer 22:19)4For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered.5Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. (Ec 4:6; Ec 7:11; Ec 11:7)6Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place?7All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied. (Pr 16:26)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? (Ec 2:15)9Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind. (Ec 1:14; Ec 11:9)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. (Job 9:32; Ec 1:10; Ec 3:15; Isa 45:9; 1Co 10:22)11The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man?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? (Job 14:2; Ec 2:18; Ec 3:22; Ec 7:15; Ec 8:13; Ec 9:9)