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Here is 1 another 2 enigma 3 that occurs on earth: Sometimes there are righteous people who get what the wicked deserve, 4 and sometimes there are wicked people who get what the righteous deserve. 5 I said, “This also is an enigma.”
But Abel brought 1 some of the firstborn of his flock – even the fattest 2 of them. And the Lord was pleased with 3 Abel and his offering,
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” 1 And he replied, “I don’t know! Am I my brother’s guardian?” 2
Look, you make my days short-lived, 1 and my life span is nothing from your perspective. 2 Surely all people, even those who seem secure, are nothing but vapor. 3
Surely people go through life as mere ghosts. 1 Surely they accumulate worthless wealth without knowing who will eventually haul it away.” 2
You severely discipline people for their sins; 1 like a moth you slowly devour their strength. 2 Surely all people are a mere vapor. (Selah)
Men are nothing but a mere breath; human beings are unreliable. 1 When they are weighed in the scales, all of them together are lighter than air. 2
I thought to myself, 1 “Come now, 2 I will try 3 self-indulgent pleasure 4 to see 5 if it is worthwhile.” 6 But I found 7 that it also is futile. 8
Yet when I reflected on everything I had accomplished 1 and on all the effort that I had expended to accomplish it, 2 I concluded: 3 “All these 4 achievements and possessions 5 are ultimately 6 profitless 7 – like chasing the wind! There is nothing gained 8 from them 9 on earth.”
So I thought to myself, “The fate of the fool will happen even to me! 1 Then what did I gain by becoming so excessively 2 wise?” 3 So I lamented to myself, 4 “The benefits of wisdom 5 are ultimately 6 meaningless!”
So I loathed 1 life 2 because what happens 3 on earth 4 seems awful to me; for all the benefits of wisdom 5 are futile – like chasing the wind.
Who knows if he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet 1 he will be master over all the fruit of 2 my labor 3 for which I worked so wisely 4 on earth! 5 This also is futile!
For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; however, he must hand over 1 the fruit of his labor 2 as an inheritance 3 to someone else who did not work for it. This also is futile, and an awful injustice! 4
For all day long 1 his work produces pain and frustration, 2 and even at night his mind cannot relax! 3 This also is futile!
The one who loves money 1 will never be satisfied with money, 2 he who loves wealth 3 will never be satisfied 4 with his 5 income. This also is futile.
Not only that, 1 but I have seen the wicked approaching 2 and entering the temple, 3 and as they left the holy temple, 4 they boasted 5 in the city that they had done so. This also is an enigma. 6
So, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all, but let him remember that the days of darkness 1 will be many – all that is about to come is obscure. 2
When you cry out for help, let your idols 1 help you! The wind blows them all away, 2 a breeze carries them away. 3 But the one who looks to me for help 4 will inherit the land and will have access to 5 my holy mountain.”
For the religion 1 of these people is worthless. They cut down a tree in the forest, and a craftsman makes it into an idol with his tools. 2
ע (Ayin) Our eyes continually failed us as we looked in vain for help. 1 From our watchtowers we watched for a nation that could not rescue us.