Ecclesiastes 4 ©
Solomon shows in this chapter how the poor are wronged and oppressed by the great ones of this world, v. 1, etc. How excellent and virtuous men are envied, 4. The ill condition of the sluggard, 5. That some have not an heart to enjoy their own labor, 6. He commends those above them who keep company with others, 7. Here some glory in their power, but wisdom is to be more esteemed, 13. The favor of subjects towards their magistrate is inconstant, 15.
SO I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and 1they had no comforter; and 2on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
3Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.
Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not 4yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
¶Again, I 5considered all travail, and every right work, 6that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
7The foola foldeth his hands together, and 8eateth his own flesh.
Better is 9an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexationb of spirit.
¶Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.
10There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither 11child nor 12brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; 13neither is his eye satisfied with riches; 14neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and 15bereave 16my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
¶ 17Two are better than one; because 18they have a good reward for their labour.
For if 19they 20fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
Again, if two 21lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and 22a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
¶ 23Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.
For 24out of prison 25he cometh to reign; whereas 26also he that is born in his kingdom becometh 27poor.
28I considered 29all the living which 30walk under the sun, with 31the second child that 32shall stand up 33in his stead.
34There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been 35before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice 36in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.