I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me
—and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.
So I turned and gave my heart up to despair concerning all the toil of my labors under the sun,
because sometimes one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun?
For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.
There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God;
for apart from him a who can eat or who can have enjoyment?
For to the one who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind. b
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)