For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing;1 they have no further reward, and even the memory of them2 is forgotten.36
Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.47
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine5 with a joyful heart,6 for it is now that God favors what you do.
Always be clothed in white,7 and always anoint your head with oil.
Enjoy life with your wife,8 whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun--all your meaningless days. For this is your lot9 in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.
Whatever10 your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,11 for in the grave,a12 where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.1311
I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,14 nor does food come to the wise15 or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance16 happen to them all.1712
Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times18 that fall unexpectedly upon them.19
I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom20 that greatly impressed me:
There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siegeworks against it.
Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man.21