Not Everyone Enjoys Life
6:1 Here is another misfortune that I have seen on earth,
and it weighs heavily on people:
6:2 God gives a man riches, property, and wealth
so that he lacks nothing that his heart desires,
yet God does not enable him to enjoy the fruit of his labor –
instead, someone else enjoys it!
This is fruitless and a grave misfortune.
6:3 Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years –
even if he lives a long, long time, but cannot enjoy his prosperity –
even if he were to live forever –
I would say, “A stillborn child is better off than he is!”
6:4 Though the stillborn child came into the world for no reason and departed into darkness,
though its name is shrouded in darkness,
6:5 though it never saw the light of day nor knew anything,
yet it has more rest than that man –
6:6 if he should live a thousand years twice, yet does not enjoy his prosperity.
For both of them die!
6:7 All of man’s labor is for nothing more than to fill his stomach –
yet his appetite is never satisfied!
6:8 So what advantage does a wise man have over a fool?
And what advantage does a pauper gain by knowing how to survive?
6:9 It is better to be content with what the eyes can see
than for one’s heart always to crave more.
This continual longing is futile – like chasing the wind.
The Futile Way Life Works
6:10 Whatever has happened was foreordained,
and what happens to a person was also foreknown.
It is useless for him to argue with God about his fate
because God is more powerful than he is.
6:11 The more one argues with words, the less he accomplishes.
How does that benefit him?
6:12 For no one knows what is best for a person during his life –
during the few days of his fleeting life –
for they pass away like a shadow.
Nor can anyone tell him what the future will hold for him on earth.
Life is Brief and Death is Certain!