1There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind:
a man 2to whom 3God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he 4lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God 5does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.
If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that 6the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's 7good things, and he also has no 8burial, I say that 9a stillborn child is better off than he.
For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered.
Moreover, it has not 10seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds 11rest rather than he.
Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good--do not all go to the one place?
12All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.
For what advantage has the wise man 13over the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living?
Better 14is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is 15vanity and a striving after wind.
Whatever has come to be has 16already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to 17dispute with one stronger than he.
The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man?
For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his 18vain life, which he passes like 19a shadow? For who can tell man what will be 20after him under the sun?