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Ecclesiastes 4 KJV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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King James Version (KJV) New International Version (NIV)
1 So I returned , and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed , and they had no comforter ; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter . 1 Again I looked and saw all the oppression 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 Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. 2 And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.
3 Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 3 But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.
4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit. 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.
5 The fool foldeth his hands together , and eateth his own flesh. 5 The fool folds his hands and ruins himself.
6 Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. 6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
7 Then I returned , and I saw vanity under the sun. 7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. 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 content 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!
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10 For if they fall , the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth ; for he hath not another to help him up . 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
11 Again, if two lie together , then they have heat : but how can one be warm alone? 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken . 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
13 Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished . 13 Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning.
14 For out of prison he cometh to reign ; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor . 14 The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom.
15 I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead. 15 I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king's successor.
16 There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit. 16 There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.