And I declared that the dead,1 who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.2
References for Ecclesiastes 4:2
But better than both is the one who has not yet been,3 who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.4
References for Ecclesiastes 4:3
And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person's envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.5
References for Ecclesiastes 4:4
Fools fold their hands6 and ruin themselves.
References for Ecclesiastes 4:5
Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil7 and chasing after the wind.
References for Ecclesiastes 4:6
Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content8 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!
References for Ecclesiastes 4:8
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.