Ecclesiastes 4:1-9 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
  Search
The Message (MSG) New International Version (NIV)
1 Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet - the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from 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 congratulated the dead who are already dead instead of 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 luckier than the dead or the living is the person who has never even been, who has never seen the bad business that takes place on this earth. 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 Then I observed all the work and ambition motivated by envy. What a waste! Smoke. And spitting into 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 sits back and takes it easy, His sloth is slow suicide. 5 The fool folds his hands and ruins himself.
6 One handful of peaceful repose Is better than two fistfuls of worried work - More spitting into the wind. 6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
7 I turned my head and saw yet another wisp of smoke on its way to nothingness: 7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8 a solitary person, completely alone - no children, no family, no friends - yet working obsessively late into the night, compulsively greedy for more and more, never bothering to ask, "Why am I working like a dog, never having any fun? And who cares?" More smoke. A bad business. 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 It's better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: