Ecclesiastes 6

The Vanity of Wealth and Honor

1 There a is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: 2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, b so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; c yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil 1 affliction. 3 If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or d indeed he has no burial, I say that e a 2 stillborn child is better than he - 4 for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. 5 Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, 6 even if he lives a thousand years twice - but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one f place?

7 g All the labor of man is for his mouth,
And yet the soul is not satisfied.
8 For what more has the wise man than the fool?
What does the poor man have,
Who knows how to walk before the living?
9 Better is 3 the h sight of the eyes than the wandering of 4 desire.
This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

10 Whatever one is, he has been named i already,
For it is known that he is man;
j And he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.
11 Since there are many things that increase vanity,
How is man the better?
12 For who knows what is good for man in life, 5 all the days of his 6 vain life which he passes like k a shadow? l Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?

  1. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 5:13
    There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: Riches kept for their owner to his hurt.
  2. Cross References
    Job 21:10
    Their bull breeds without failure; Their cow calves without miscarriage.
    Psalms 17:14
    With Your hand from men, O LORD, From men of the world who have their portion in this life, And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure. They are satisfied with children, And leave the rest of their possession for their babes.
    Psalms 73:7
    Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish.
  3. Cross References
    Luke 12:20
    "But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'
  4. Cross References
    2 Kings 9:35
    So they went to bury her, but they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands.
    Isaiah 14:19
    But you are cast out of your grave Like an abominable branch, Like the garment of those who are slain, Thrust through with a sword, Who go down to the stones of the pit, Like a corpse trodden underfoot.
    Isaiah 14:20
    You will not be joined with them in burial, Because you have destroyed your land And slain your people. The brood of evildoers shall never be named.
    Jeremiah 22:19
    He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey, Dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
  5. Cross References
    Job 3:16
    Or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child, Like infants who never saw light?
    Psalms 58:8
    Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes, Like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
    Ecclesiastes 4:3
    Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
  6. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:14
    The wise man's eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens to them all.
    Ecclesiastes 2:15
    So I said in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart, "This also is vanity.
  7. Cross References
    Proverbs 16:26
    The person who labors, labors for himself, For his hungry mouth drives him on.
  8. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 11:9
    Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.
  9. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:9
    That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
    Ecclesiastes 3:15
    That which is has already been, And what is to be has already been; And God requires an account of what is past.
  10. Cross References
    Job 9:32
    For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together.
    Isaiah 45:9
    Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' Or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'?
    Jeremiah 49:19
    "Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the floodplain of the Jordan Against the dwelling place of the strong; But I will suddenly make him run away from her. And who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? For who is like Me? Who will arraign Me? And who is that shepherd Who will withstand Me?"
  11. Cross References
    Psalms 102:11
    My days are like a shadow that lengthens, And I wither away like grass.
    James 4:14
    Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
  12. Cross References
    Psalms 39:6
    Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.
    Ecclesiastes 3:22
    So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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