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Ecclesiastes 4:4-16 ESV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after 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 hands and eats his own flesh. 5 The fool folds his hands and ruins himself.
6 Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind. 6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, "For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is vanity and an unhappy 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 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not 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 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him--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 was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice. 13 Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning.
14 For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born 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 saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to stand in the king's place. 15 I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king's successor.
16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after 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.