Wealth Does Not Bring Happiness
1 I have seen another thing in this life that is not fair and is very hard to understand. 2 God gives some people great wealth, riches, and honor. They have everything they need and everything they could ever want. But then God does not let them enjoy those things. Some stranger comes and takes everything. This is a very bad and senseless thing.
3 A man might live a long time and have 100 children. But if he is not satisfied with those good things, and if no one remembers him after his death, I say that a baby who dies at birth is better off than that man. 4 It is senseless when a baby is born dead. The baby is quickly buried in a dark grave, without even a name. 5 The baby never saw the sun and never knew anything. But the baby finds more rest than the man who never enjoyed what God gave him. 6 He might live 2000 years. But if he does not enjoy life, then the baby who was born dead has found the easiest way to the same end.* then the baby … the same end Or “Isn’t it true that all go to the same place?”
7 People work and work to feed themselves, but they are never satisfied. 8 In the same way a wise person is no better than a fool is. It is better to be a poor person who knows how to accept life as it is. 9 It is better to be happy with what you have than to always want more and more. Always wanting more and more is useless. It is like trying to catch the wind.† Or “Having what you can see is better than chasing after the things you want. This is also like trying to catch the wind.”
10-11 You are only what you were created to be—a human, and it is useless to argue about it. People cannot argue with God about this because he is more powerful than they are, and a long argument will not change that fact.
12 Who knows what is best for people during their short life on earth? Their life passes like a shadow. No one can tell them what will happen later.
*6:6 then the baby … the same end Or “Isn’t it true that all go to the same place?”
†6:9 Or “Having what you can see is better than chasing after the things you want. This is also like trying to catch the wind.”