Other things that he found hard to understand/accept
1 I thought some more about all the suffering that people are caused to experience on the earth [MTY].
I saw the tears of people who were ◄oppressed/treated cruelly►
and who had no one to comfort/encourage them.
Those who oppressed them had power,
and there was absolutely no one who was able to comfort those who were being oppressed.
2 So I thought that those who are already dead are more fortunate
than those who are still alive.
3 And those who have not been born yet
are more fortunate than those who are still alive and those who have died,
because those who have not been born have not seen all the evil things that are done on the earth.
4 I also thought about all the hard work that people do and the skills that they have. And I thought about how they compete with each other because they are envious of others, and I concluded that this also is something that is not accomplishing anything useful, like chasing the wind.
5 Foolish people refuse to work;
they sit idly, with their hands folded, and do not work.
So they ruin themselves.
6 So I say, “It is better to be content with not having much money,
than to work very hard and try to get a lot of money,
which is as useless as chasing the wind.”
7 I thought about something else that happens on the earth [MTY] that seems senseless.
8 There are men who live alone;
they do not have a wife or children or any brothers living with them;
every day they work very hard, without stopping, to get a lot of money,
but they are never satisfied with the things that they have.
They never ask themselves,
“Why am I working very hard to earn more money?
Why am I not doing things that would cause me to be happy?”
What they do also seems senseless.
9 Having someone work with you is better than being by yourself all the time.
If you have a friend, he can help you to do your work.
10 If you fall down, he can help you get up again.
But if you fall down when you are alone, it will be difficult for you,
because there will,be no one to help you stand up.
11 Similarly, if two people sleep together,
they can keep each other warm.
But someone who sleeps alone will certainly not [RHQ] be warm.
12 Someone who is alone can easily be attacked and defeated by another person,
but two people can help each other and ◄resist/defend themselves against► someone who attacks them.
Three people can defend themselves even more easily,
like a rope that is made from three cords is harder to break than a rope made from two cords.
When a poor young man becomes king
13 A young man who is poor but wise is a better person than a foolish old king who refuses to pay attention when people try to give him good advice. 14 It is possible for a young man like that to succeed and some day become king, even if his parents were poor or even if he was in prison some of the time. 15 But then some other young man becomes king, and everyone ◄starts to support/is pleased with► him. 16 Large crowds of people crowd around him. But after a few years, they will reject him, too. So it is all senseless, like chasing after the wind.