Money does not make you happy
8 You may see a place where poor people are suffering. Powerful people may be hurting them. Do not be surprised if you see that. The judges may not be doing what is right and fair. That happens because the government's officers have to obey people who are more important than them. 9 All of them take something for themselves from the land. The king himself receives his share of the crops.
10 People who love money never have enough.
They may get more and more valuable things,
but they are never happy.
This also has no purpose.
11 As a person's money becomes more,
there are more people who want a share of it.
Money does not help the people who have a lot of it.
They see it, but it quickly disappears.
12 Someone who has worked hard all day will sleep well at night.
That is true even if they have not had much food to eat.
But the rich man worries about his riches.
So he does not sleep well.
13 I have seen another terrible thing that happens on the earth.
Some people may store their riches,
but it does not help them in a time of trouble.
14 Something may happen in the future
that causes their money to disappear.
After they die,
no money remains for their children.
15 When people are born,
they bring nothing with them.
When they die,
they take nothing away with them.
All their hard work finally leaves them with nothing.
16 This is also a terrible thing to happen.
People leave this earth with nothing,
as they came into it with nothing.
All their hard work has been useless,
like someone who tries to catch the wind.
17 Even if people are rich, they do not enjoy their food.
They suffer all through their lives.
They are upset, angry and sick.
18 But I realized that there is one good thing for people to do. We should be happy to eat and to drink. And we should enjoy the hard work that we do on the earth. That is what God wants us to do during the short time that he has given us on this earth. 19 God gives some people a lot of money and valuable things. He helps them to enjoy those things and to be happy with their work. All of this is a gift from God. 20 People like that do not think a lot about what has happened in their lives. God helps them to be happy as they are busy with their work.
1 I have seen another terrible thing that happens on the earth. It causes people to have a lot of trouble. 2 God may give someone lots of money and valuable things. People also respect that person. He has everything that he wants. He has worked hard to get them. But God does not allow him to enjoy those things. Instead, a stranger enjoys all that person's things. This has no purpose. It is a terrible thing to happen to someone.
3 Someone may have many children and he may live for a long time. But even if he lives until he is very old, he may not enjoy a good life. After he dies, people may not bury him with honour. His life would be useless. Even a child that is dead at birth is happier than that person. That is what I think. 4 The child's birth has no purpose. He immediately goes to a dark place. Nobody ever speaks his name. 5 He never sees the light of day. He never knows anything. But he enjoys more rest than that rich person. 6 A rich person might live for 2,000 years. But if he never enjoys his riches, it would be better if he died at birth. Remember that after death, we all go into our graves.
7 The reason people work so hard is to get food.
But they never have enough to eat.
8 Does a wise person have a better life than a foolish person?
No, he does not!
Does it help a poor person if he knows how to live well?
9 It is good to enjoy the things that we have.
That is better than to want more things all the time.
If you always try to get more things, that has no purpose.
It is like somebody who tries to catch the wind.
10 Everything that is here today already has its name.
Everyone knows what we humans are like.
It is useless to argue with someone who is more powerful than we are.
11 If we talk too much,
we will say silly things.
So it will not help anyone to talk with many words.
12 Nobody knows the best way for us to live our lives.
We live for only a few years
and our lives seem to have no purpose.
Our lives quickly disappear, like a shadow.
Nobody can tell us what will happen on the earth after our death.