I am disgusted that I must leave the fruits of my hard work to others.
And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? And yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work. How meaningless!
So I turned in despair from hard work. It was not the answer to my search for satisfaction in this life.
For though I do my work with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, I must leave everything I gain to people who haven't worked to earn it. This is not only foolish but highly unfair.
So what do people get for all their hard work?
Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night they cannot rest. It is all utterly meaningless.
So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that this pleasure is from the hand of God.
For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?
God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. Even this, however, is meaningless, like chasing the wind.