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Ecclesiastes 4:1-9 (New Living Translation)

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1 Again I observed all the oppression that takes place in our world. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and the victims are helpless. 2 So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living. 3 And most fortunate of all are those who were never born. For they have never seen all the evil that is done in our world. 4 Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind. 5 Foolish people refuse to work and almost starve. 6 They feel it is better to be lazy and barely survive than to work hard, especially when in the long run everything is so futile. 7 I observed yet another example of meaninglessness in our world. 8 This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, "Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?" It is all so meaningless and depressing. 9 Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor.
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