Ecclesiastes 4; Ecclesiastes 5; Ecclesiastes 6; 2 Corinthians 12

1 I turned myself to other things, and I saw the oppressions that are done under the sun, and the tears of the innocent, and they had no comforter; and they were not able to resist their violence, being destitute of help from any. 2 And I praised the dead rather than the living: 3 And I judged him happier than them both, that is not yet born, nor hath seen the evils that are done under the sun. 4 Again I considered all the labours of men, and I remarked that their industries are exposed to the envy of their neighbour: so in this also there is vanity, and fruitless care. 5 The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh, saying: 6 Better is a handful with rest, than both hands full with labour, and vexation of mind. 7 Considering I found also another vanity under the sun: 8 There is but one, and he hath not a second, no child, no brother, and yet he ceaseth not to labour, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches, neither doth he reflect, saying: For whom do I labour, and defraud my soul of good things? in this also is vanity, and a grievous vexation. 9 It is better therefore that two should be together, than one: for they have the advantage of their society: 10 If one fall he shall be supported by the other: woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth, he hath none to lift him up. 11 And if two lie together, they shall warm one another: how shall one alone be warmed? 12 And if a man prevail against one, two shall withstand him: a threefold cord is not easily broken. 13 Better is a child that is poor and wise, than a king that is old and foolish, who knoweth not to foresee for hereafter. 14 Because out of prison and chains sometimes a man cometh forth to a kingdom: and another born king is consumed with poverty. 15 I saw all men living, that walk under the sun with the second young man, who shall rise up in his place. 16 The number of the people, of all that were before him is infinite: and they that shall come afterwards, shall not rejoice in him: but this also is vanity, and vexation of spirit.
1 (4-17) Keep thy foot, when thou goest into the house of God, and draw nigh to hear. For much better is obedience, than the victims of fools, who know not what evil they do. 2 (5-1) Speak not any thing rashly, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 3 (5-2) Dreams follow many cares: and in many words shall be found folly. 4 (5-3) If thou hast vowed any thing to God, defer not to pay it: for an unfaithful and foolish promise displeaseth him: but whatsoever thou hast vowed, pay it. 5 (5-4) And it is much better not to vow, than after a vow not to perform the things promised. 6 (5-5) Give not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin: and say not before the angel: There is no providence: lest God be angry at thy words, and destroy all the works of thy hands. 7 (5-6) Where there are many dreams, there are many vanities, and words without number: but do thou fear God. 8 (5-7) If thou shalt see the oppressions of the poor, and violent judgments, and justice perverted in the province, wonder not at this matter: for he that is high hath another higher, and there are others still higher than these: 9 (5-8) Moreover there is the king that reigneth over all the land subject to him. 10 (5-9) A covetous man shall not be satisfied with money: and he that loveth riches shall reap no fruit from them: so this also is vanity. 11 (5-10) Where there are great riches, there are also many to eat them. And what doth it profit the owner, but that he seeth the riches with his eyes? 12 (5-11) Sleep is sweet to a labouring man, whether he eat little or much: but the fulness of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. 13 (5-12) There is also another grievous evil, which I have seen under the sun: riches kept to the hurt of the owner. 14 (5-13) For they are lost with very great affliction: he hath begotten a son, who shall be in extremity of want. 15 (5-14) As he came forth naked from his mother’s womb, so shall he return, and shall take nothing away with him of his labour. 16 (5-15) A most deplorable evil: as he came, so shall he return. What then doth it profit him that he hath laboured for the wind? 17 (5-16) All the days of his life he eateth in darkness, and in many cares, and in misery, and sorrow. 18 (5-17) This therefore hath seemed good to me, that a man should eat and drink, and enjoy the fruit of his labour, wherewith he hath laboured under the sun, all the days of his life, which God hath given him: and this is his portion. 19 (5-18) And every man to whom God hath given riches, and substance, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to enjoy his portion, and to rejoice of his labour: this is the gift of God. 20 (5-19) For he shall not much remember the days of his life, because God entertaineth his heart with delight.
1 There is also another evil, which I have seen under the sun, and that frequent among men: 2 A man to whom God hath given riches, and substance, and honour, and his soul wanteth nothing of all that he desireth: yet God doth not give him power to eat thereof, but a stranger shall eat it up. This is vanity and a great misery. 3 If a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, and attain to a great age, and his soul make no use of the goods of his substance, and he be without burial: of this man I pronounce, that the untimely born is better than he. 4 For he came in vain, and goeth to darkness, and his name shall be wholly forgotten. 5 He hath not seen the sun, nor known the distance of good and evil: 6 Although he lived two thousand years, and hath not enjoyed good things: do not all make haste to one place? 7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, but his soul shall not be filled. 8 What hath the wise man more than the fool? and what the poor man, but to go thither, where there is life? 9 Better it is to see what thou mayst desire, than to desire that which thou canst not know. But this also is vanity, and presumption of spirit. 10 He that shall be, his name is already called: and it is known, that he is a man, and cannot contend in judgment with him that is stronger than himself. 11 There are many words that have much vanity in disputing. 12 (7-1) What needeth a man to seek things that are above him, whereas he knoweth not what is profitable for him in his life, in all the days of his pilgrimage, and the time that passeth like a shadow? Or who can tell him what shall be after him under the sun?
1 If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed) but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ: above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth): 4 That he was caught up into paradise and heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter. 5 For such an one I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing but in my infirmities. 6 For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish: for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or any thing he heareth from me. 7 And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. 8 For which thing, thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me. 9 And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful. 11 I am become foolish. You have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended by you. For I have no way come short of them that are above measure apostles, although I be nothing. 12 Yet the signs of my apostleship have been wrought on you, in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. 13 For what is there that you have had less than the other churches but that I myself was not burthensome to you? Pardon me this injury. 14 Behold now the third time I am ready to come to you and I will not be burthensome unto you. For I seek not the things that are yours, but you. For neither ought the children to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 But I most gladly will spend and be spent myself for your souls: although loving you more, I be loved less. 16 But be it so: I did not burthen you: but being crafty, I caught you by guile. 17 Did I overreach you by any of them whom I sent to you? 18 I desired Titus: and I sent with him a brother. Did Titus overreach you? Did we not walk with the same spirit? Did we not in the same steps? 19 Of old, think you that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ: but all things, my dearly beloved, for your edification. 20 For I fear lest perhaps, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found by you such as you would not. Lest perhaps contentions, envyings, animosities, dissensions, detractions, whisperings, swellings, seditions, be among you. 21 Lest again, when I come, God humble me among you: and I mourn many of them that sinned before and have not done penance for the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness that they have committed.
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