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Ecclesiastes 4 CSB/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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Holman Christian Standard (CSB) New International Version (NIV)
1 Again, I observed all the acts of oppression being done under the sun. Look at the tears of those who are oppressed; they have no one to comfort them. Power is with those who oppress them; they have no one to comfort them. 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 So I admired the dead, who have already died, more than the living, who are still alive. 2 And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.
3 But better than either of them is the one who has not yet existed, who has not seen the evil activity 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 I saw that all labor and all skillful work is due to a man's jealousy of his friend. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. 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 folds his arms and consumes his own flesh. 5 The fool folds his hands and ruins himself.
6 Better one handful with rest, than two handfuls with effort and pursuit of the wind. 6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
7 Again, I saw futility under the sun: 7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8 There is a person without a companion, without even a son or brother, and though there is no end to all his struggles, his eyes are still not content with riches. "So who am I struggling for," [he asks,] "and depriving myself from good?" This too is futile and a miserable task. 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 efforts. 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10 For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift 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 Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily 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 but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer pays attention to warnings. 13 Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning.
14 For he came from prison to be king, even though he was born poor in his kingdom. 14 The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom.
15 I saw all the living who move about under the sun follow a second youth who succeeds him. 15 I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king's successor.
16 There is no limit to all the people who were before them, yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. 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.