1. I turned myself to other things, and I saw the false accusations which are carried out under the sun, and the tears of the innocent, and that there was no one to console them; and that they were not able to withstand their violence, being destitute of all help.
2. And so, I praised the dead more than the living.
3. And happier than both of these, I judged him to be, who has not yet been born, and who has not yet seen the evils which are done under the sun.
4. Again, I was contemplating all the labors of men. And I took notice that their endeavors are open to the envy of their neighbor. And so, in this, too, there is emptiness and superfluous anxiety.
5. The foolish man folds his hands together, and he consumes his own flesh, saying:
6. “A handful with rest is better than both hands filled with labors and with affliction of the soul.”
7. While considering this, I also discovered another vanity under the sun.
8. He is one, and he does not have a second: no son, no brother. And yet he does not cease to labor, nor are his eyes satisfied with wealth, nor does he reflect, saying: “For whom do I labor and cheat my soul of good things?” In this, too, is emptiness and a most burdensome affliction.
9. Therefore, it is better for two to be together, than for one to be alone. For they have the advantage of their companionship.
10. If one falls, he shall be supported by the other. Woe to one who is alone. For when he falls, he has no one to lift him up.
11. And if two are sleeping, they warm one another. How can one person alone be warmed?
12. And if a man can prevail against one, two may withstand him, and a threefold cord is broken with difficulty.
13. Better is a boy, poor and wise, than a king, old and foolish, who does not know to look ahead for the sake of posterity.
14. For sometimes, one goes forth from prison and chains, to a kingdom, while another, born to kingly power, is consumed by need.
15. I saw all the living who are walking under the sun, and I saw the next generation, who shall rise up in their places.
16. The number of people, out of all who existed before these, is boundless. And those who will exist afterwards shall not rejoice in them. But this, too, is emptiness and an affliction of the spirit.
17. Guard your foot, when you step into the house of God, and draw near, so that you may listen. For obedience is much better than the sacrifices of the foolish, who do not know the evil that they are doing.