The Futility of Life
1There is also another evil, which I have seen under the sun, and that frequent among men: 2A 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. 3If 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. 4For he came in vain, and goeth to darkness, and his name shall be wholly forgotten. 5He hath not seen the sun, nor known the distance of good and evil: 6Although he lived two thousand years, and hath not enjoyed good things: do not all make haste to one place?
7All the labour of man is for his mouth, but his soul shall not be filled. 8What hath the wise man more than the fool? and what the poor man, but to go thither, where there is life? 9Better 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.
10He that shall be, his name is already called: and it is known, that he is man, and cannot contend in judgment with him that is stronger than himself. 11There are many words that have much vanity in disputing. 12What 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?