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The Blue Letter Bible

Ecclesiastes 4 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:1 - Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:2 - So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:3 - But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:4 - Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:5 - “Fools fold their idle hands,
leading them to ruin.”
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:6 - And yet,
“Better to have one handful with quietness
than two handfuls with hard work
and chasing the wind.”
The Advantages of Companionship
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:7 - I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:8 - This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:9 - Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:10 - If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:11 - Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:12 - A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
The Futility of Political Power
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:13 - It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who refuses all advice.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:14 - Such a youth could rise from poverty and succeed. He might even become king, though he has been in prison.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:15 - But then everyone rushes to the side of yet another youth[fn] who replaces him.
Unchecked Copy BoxEcc 4:16 - Endless crowds stand around him,[fn] but then another generation grows up and rejects him, too. So it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.
NLT Footnotes
Hebrew the second youth.
Hebrew There is no end to all the people, to all those who are before them.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the New Living Translation website.

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