1I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on mankind:2God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.3A 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.4It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded.5Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man—6even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?7Everyone’s toil is for their mouth, yet their appetite is never satisfied.8What advantage have the wise over fools? What do the poor gain by knowing how to conduct themselves before others?9Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.10Whatever exists has already been named, and what humanity is has been known; no one can contend with someone who is stronger.11The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?12For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?
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)