Ecclesiastes 6 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 I looked long and hard at what goes on around here, and let me tell you, things are bad. And people feel it. 1 I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men:
2 There are people, for instance, on whom God showers everything - money, property, reputation - all they ever wanted or dreamed of. And then God doesn't let them enjoy it. Some stranger comes along and has all the fun. It's more of what I'm calling smoke. A bad business. 2 God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.
3 Say a couple have scores of children and live a long, long life but never enjoy themselves - even though they end up with a big funeral! I'd say that a stillborn baby gets the better deal. 3 A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.
4 It gets its start in a mist and ends up in the dark - unnamed. 4 It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded.
5 It sees nothing and knows nothing, but is better off by far than anyone living. 5 Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man--
6 Even if someone lived a thousand years - make it two thousand! - but didn't enjoy anything, what's the point? Doesn't everyone end up in the same place? 6 even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?
7 We work to feed our appetites; Meanwhile our souls go hungry. 7 All man's efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied.
8 So what advantage has a sage over a fool, or over some poor wretch who barely gets by? 8 What advantage has a wise man over a fool? What does a poor man gain by knowing how to conduct himself before others?
9 Just grab whatever you can while you can; don't assume something better might turn up by and by. All it amounts to anyway is smoke. And spitting into the wind. 9 Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
10 Whatever happens, happens. Its destiny is fixed. You can't argue with fate. 10 Whatever exists has already been named, and what man is has been known; no man can contend with one who is stronger than he.
11 The more words that are spoken, the more smoke there is in the air. And who is any better off? 11 The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?
12 And who knows what's best for us as we live out our meager smoke-and-shadow lives? And who can tell any of us the next chapter of our lives? 12 For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?