1 There is another tragedy that I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:
2 The true God gives a man riches and material possessions and glory, so that he lacks nothing that he desires; yet the true God does not enable him to enjoy them, although a stranger may enjoy them. This is futility and a severe affliction.
3 If a man should become a father a hundred times and live for many years and reach old age, yet he does not enjoy his good things before he reaches the grave, I must say that a stillborn child is better off than he is.
4 For this one came in vain and went away in darkness, and his name is shrouded in darkness.
5 Even though he never saw the sun or knew anything, he is still better off than the former one.
6 What is the benefit of living a thousand years twice over but not experiencing enjoyment? Do not all go to the same place?
7 All the hard work of a man is to fill his mouth; yet his appetite is never satisfied.
8 For what advantage does the wise one have over the stupid one, or of what benefit is it that the poor man knows how to survive?
9 Better to enjoy what the eyes see than to wander after one’s desires. This too is futility, a chasing after the wind.
10 Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is; and he is not able to dispute with the one more powerful than he.
11 The more words, the more futility; and what advantage do they bring to man?
12 Who knows what is best for a man to do in life during the few days of his futile life, which he spends like a shadow? For who can tell man what will happen under the sun after he is gone?