3:16. I saw under the sun in the place of judgment wickedness, and in the place of justice iniquity.
3:17. And I said in my heart: God shall judge both the just and the wicked, and then shall be the time of every thing.
3:18. I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, that God would prove them, and shew them to be like beasts.
3:19. Therefore the death of man, and of beasts is one, and the condition of them both is equal: as man dieth, so they also die: all things breathe alike, and man hath nothing more than beast: all things are subject to vanity.
Man hath nothing more, etc... Viz., as to the life of the body.
3:20. And all things go to one place: of earth they were made, and into earth they return together.
3:21. Who knoweth if the spirit of the children of Adam ascend upward, and if the spirit of the beasts descend downward?
Who knoweth, etc... Viz., experimentally: since no one in this life can see a spirit. But as to the spirit of the beasts, which is merely animal, and become extinct by the death of the beast, who can tell the manner it acts so as to give life and motion, and by death to descend downward, that is, to be no more?
3:22. And I have found that nothing is better than for a man to rejoice in his work, and that this is his portion. For who shall bring him to know the things that shall be after him?
Ecclesiastes Chapter 4
Other instances of human miseries.
4:1. I turned myself to other things, and I saw the oppressions that are done under the sun, and the tears of the innocent, and they had no comforter; and they were not able to resist their violence, being destitute of help from any.
4:2. And I praised the dead rather than the living:
4:3. And I judged him happier than them both, that is not yet born, nor hath seen the evils that are done under the sun.
4:4. Again I considered all the labours of men, and I remarked that their industries are exposed to the envy of their neighbour: so in this also there is vanity, and fruitless care.
4:5. The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh, saying:
4:6. Better is a handful with rest, than both hands full with labour, and vexation of mind.
4:7. Considering I found also another vanity under the sun:
4:8. There is but one, and he hath not a second, no child, no brother, and yet he ceaseth not to labour, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches, neither doth he reflect, saying: For whom do I labour, and defraud my soul of good things? in this also is vanity, and a grievous vexation.
4:9. It is better therefore that two should be together, than one: for they have the advantage of their society:
4:10. If one fall he shall be supported by the other: woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth, he hath none to lift him up.
4:11. And if two lie together, they shall warm one another: how shall one alone be warmed?
4:12. And if a man prevail against one, two shall withstand him: a threefold cord is not easily broken.
4:13. Better is a child that is poor and wise, than a king that is old and foolish, who knoweth not to foresee for hereafter.
4:14. Because out of prison and chains sometimes a man cometh forth to a kingdom: and another born king is consumed with poverty.
4:15. I saw all men living, that walk under the sun with the second young man, who shall rise up in his place.
4:16. The number of the people, of all that were before him is infinite: and they that shall come afterwards, shall not rejoice in him: but this also is vanity, and vexation of spirit.
4:17. Keep thy foot, when thou goest into the house of God, and draw nigh to hear. For much better is obedience, than the victims of fools, who know not what evil they do.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 5
Caution in words. Vows are to be paid. Riches are often pernicious: the moderate use of them is the gift of God.
5:1. Speak not any thing rashly, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
5:2. Dreams follow many cares: and in many words shall be found folly.
5:3. If thou hast vowed any thing to God, defer not to pay it: for an unfaithful and foolish promise displeaseth him: but whatsoever thou hast vowed, pay it.
5:4. And it is much better not to vow, than after a vow not to perform the things promised.
5:5. Give not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin: and say not before the angel: There is no providence: lest God be angry at thy words, and destroy all the works of thy hands.
5:6. Where there are many dreams, there are many vanities, and words without number: but do thou fear God.
5:7. If thou shalt see the oppressions of the poor, and violent judgments, and justice perverted in the province, wonder not at this matter: for he that is high hath another higher, and there are others still higher than these:
5:8. Moreover there is the king that reigneth over all the land subject to him.
5:9. A covetous man shall not be satisfied with money: and he that loveth riches shall reap no fruit from them: so this also is vanity.
5:10. Where there are great riches, there are also many to eat them. And what doth it profit the owner, but that he seeth the riches with his eyes?
5:11. Sleep is sweet to a labouring man, whether he eat little or much: but the fulness of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
5:12. There is also another grievous evil, which I have seen under the sun: riches kept to the hurt of the owner.
5:13. For they are lost with very great affliction: he hath begotten a son, who shall be in extremity of want.
5:14. As he came forth naked from his mother's womb, so shall he return, and shall take nothing away with him of his labour.
5:15. A most deplorable evil: as he came, so shall he return. What then doth it profit him that he hath laboured for the wind?
5:16. All the days of his life he eateth in darkness, and in many cares, and in misery, and sorrow.
5:17. This therefore hath seemed good to me, that a man should eat and drink, and enjoy the fruit of his labour, wherewith he hath laboured under the sun, all the days of his life, which God hath given him: and this is his portion.
5:18. And every man to whom God hath given riches, and substance, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to enjoy his portion, and to rejoice of his labour: this is the gift of God.
5:19. For he shall not much remember the days of his life, because God entertaineth his heart with delight.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 6