If you see the poor oppressed1 in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.
The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?
The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.213
I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:3 wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner,
or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him.
Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs.4 He takes nothing from his labor5 that he can carry in his hand.616
This too is a grievous evil: As a man comes, so he departs, and what does he gain, since he toils for the wind?717
All his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.
Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink,8 and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor9 under the sun during the few days of life God has given him--for this is his lot.
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions,10 and enables him to enjoy them,11 to accept his lot12 and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God.1320
He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.14