Chapter 4
Then I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold, the tears of those who were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
Therefore I praised the dead who have been long dead more than the living who are yet alive.
Yes, better than them both is her who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
Then I saw all the labor and achievement that is the envy of a woman's neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
The fool folds her hands together and ruins herself.
Better is a handful, with quietness, than two handfuls with labor and chasing after wind.
Then I returned and saw vanity under the sun.
There is one who is alone, and she has neither daughter nor sister. There is no end to all of her labor, neither are her eyes satisfied with wealth. For whom then, do I labor, and deprive my soul of enjoyment? This also is vanity, yes, it is a miserable business.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, the one will lift up her fellow; but woe to her who is alone when she falls, and doesn't have another to lift her up.
Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one keep warm alone?
If a woman prevails against one who is alone, two shall withstand her; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish queen who doesn't know how to receive admonition any more.
For out of prison she came forth to be queen; yes, even in her kingdom she was born poor.
I saw all the living who walk under the sun, that they were with the youth, the other, who succeeded her.
There was no end of all the people, even of all them over whom she was--yet those who come after shall not rejoice in her. Surely this also is vanity and a chasing after wind.