Ecclesiastes 4:1-9 NIV

Oppression, Toil, Friendlessness

1 Again I looked and saw all the oppression1 that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed-- and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors-- and they have no comforter.2

References for Ecclesiastes 4:1

2 And I declared that the dead,3 who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.4

References for Ecclesiastes 4:2

3 But better than both is he who has not yet been,5 who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.6

References for Ecclesiastes 4:3

4 And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.7

References for Ecclesiastes 4:4

5 The fool folds his hands8 and ruins himself.

References for Ecclesiastes 4:5

6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil9 and chasing after the wind.

References for Ecclesiastes 4:6

7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8 There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content10 with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless-- a miserable business!

References for Ecclesiastes 4:8

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: