Ecclesiastes - Chapter 4 | American Standard Version

  • 1. Then I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and, behold, the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
  • 2. Wherefore I praised the dead that have been long dead more than the living that are yet alive;
  • 3. yea, better than them both {cf15i did I esteem} him that hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
  • 4. Then I saw all labor and every skilful work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
  • 5. The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.
  • 6. Better is a handful, with quietness, than two handfuls with labor and striving after wind.
  • 7. Then I returned and saw vanity under the sun.
  • 8. There is one that is alone, and he hath not a second; yea, he hath neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches. For whom then, {cf15i saith he}, do I labor, and deprive my soul of good? This also is vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
  • 9. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
  • 10. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, and hath not another to lift him up.
  • 11. Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm {cf15i alone}?
  • 12. And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
  • 13. Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king, who knoweth not how to receive admonition any more.
  • 14. For out of prison he came forth to be king; yea, even in his kingdom he was born poor.
  • 15. I saw all the living that walk under the sun, that they were with the youth, the second, that stood up in his stead.
  • 16. There was no end of all the people, even of all them over whom he was: yet they that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.