YES, BUT THERE is a very serious evil, which I have seen everywhere- God
has given to some men very great wealth and honor, so that they can have
everything they want, but he doesn't give them the health to enjoy it, and
they die and others get it all! This is absurd, a hollow mockery, and a
Even if a man has a hundred sons and as many daughters and lives to be
very old, but leaves so little money at his death that his children can't
even give him a decent burial-I say that he would be better off born dead.
For though his birth would then be futile and end in darkness, without
even a name, never seeing the sun or even knowing its existence, yet that
is better than to be an old, unhappy man. Though a man lives a thousand
years twice over, but doesn't find contentment-well, what's the use?
Wise men and fools alike spend their lives scratching for food, and
never seem to get enough. Both have the same problem, yet the poor man who
is wise lives a far better life. A bird in the hand is worth two in the
bush; mere dreaming of nice things is foolish; it's chasing the wind.
All things are decided by fate; it was known long ago what each man
would be. So there's no use arguing with God about your destiny.*
The more words you speak, the less they mean, so why bother to speak
In these few days of our empty life-times, who can say how one's days
can best be spent? Who can know what will prove best for the future after
he is gone? For who knows the future.
*secretaries note: In the interest of understanding other translations,
King James, American Standard Version, Rotherham and so on, should be
consulted on this translation.