Ecclesiastes 4

1Again I saw that many people are treated badly. I saw their tears. And I saw that there was no one to comfort those sad people. I saw cruel people had all the power. And I saw that there was no one to comfort the people they hurt. 2I decided that things are better for people that have died than for people that are still alive. 3And things are even better ˻for people that die at birth! Why? Because˼ they never saw the evil that is done in this world. 4Then I thought, “Why do people work so hard?” I saw people try to succeed and be better than other people. Why? Because people are jealous. They don’t want other people to have more than they have. This is senseless. It is like trying to catch the wind. 5Some people say, “It is foolish to fold your hands and do nothing. If you don’t work, you will starve to death.” 6Maybe that is true. But I say it is better to be satisfied with the few things you have than to always be struggling to get more. 7Again I saw something else that didn’t make sense: 8A person might not have any family. He might not have a son or even a brother. But that person will continue to work very, very hard. That person is never satisfied with what he has. And he works so hard that he never stops and asks himself, “Why am I working so hard? Why don’t I let myself enjoy my life?” This is also a very bad and senseless thing. 9Two people are better than one. When two people work together, they get more from the work they do. 10If one person falls, then the other person can help him. But it is very bad for the person that is alone when he falls—there is no one there to help him. 11If two people sleep together, they will be warm. But a person sleeping alone will not be warm. 12An enemy might be able to defeat one person, but that enemy can’t defeat two people. ˻And three people are even stronger. They are like˼ a rope that has three parts wrapped together—it is very hard to break. 13A young leader that is poor but wise is better than a king that is old but foolish. That old king does not listen to warnings. 14Maybe that young ruler was born a poor man in the kingdom. And maybe he came from prison to rule the country. 15But I have watched people in this life, ˻and I know this:˼ People will follow that young man. He will become the new king. 16Many, many people will follow this young man. But later, those same people will not like him. This is also senseless. It is like trying to catch the wind.

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