Then I thought in my heart, "The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?"1 I said in my heart, "This too is meaningless."
For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered;2 in days to come both will be forgotten.3 Like the fool, the wise man too must die!4
So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.518
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.619
And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool?7 Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.
So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.
For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.
What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?823
All his days his work is pain and grief;9 even at night his mind does not rest.10 This too is meaningless.
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink11 and find satisfaction in his work.12 This too, I see, is from the hand of God,1325
for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?14