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1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. 2 Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. 3 Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit. 5 The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh. 6 Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. 7 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. 8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. 9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 13 Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. 14 For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor. 15 I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead. 16 There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

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1 Raymond Huerta = "Ecclesiastes notes the suffering of the oppressed as a given fact without the indication, such as in Psalms, that God will rescue them from their suffering. Also, without any exhortation, as in the Prophets, that we must act to rescue them. Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print."
2 Raymond Huerta = "The redundant use of "dead" and "living" are part of this Qohelet's stylistic use of emphatic repetition. Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print.http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/464884/ploce"
3 Raymond Huerta = "This is similar to Job's wish in Job 3 never to have been born, that refusal of existence is an expression of Job's own unbearable suffering, whereas Qohelet puts forth the idea as a general philosophic reflection of the human condition. Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print."
4 Sara Di Diego = "A person is still important to God even if all they have accomplished was birth.  Just by the simple act of living they are glorifying God and will be forever happy.Work Cited:http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-concise/ecclesiastes/4.html"
5 Sara Di Diego = "A talk on why emptiness increases, based on Ecclesiastes chapter 4.Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4zqZZZsgvs"
6 Raymond Huerta = "This verse sounds like a proverb, of the sort that one finds in the Book of Proverbs, enjoining against laziness. The eating of one's own flesh is a metaphor for causing harm to oneself. Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print."
7 Raymond Huerta = "This statement partly contradicts the previous proverb.Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print."
8 Sara Di Diego = "The more man have, the more they think they should have, and thus they work their servants/workers harder than they drive themselves because they are selfish and without empathy.  Yet no matter how much they work their people, they will never be happy.Work Cited:http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-concise/ecclesiastes/4.html"
9 Raymond Huerta = "Throughout these lines, the argument for friendship is pragmatic, implying neither companionship nor love. Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print."
10 Raymond Huerta = "This does not necessarily mean marriage or sex. The warmth of a shared bed could easily be that of two companions, without sexual intent. Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print."
11 Raymond Huerta = "Many scholars believe this line is cited from the Gilgamesh epic, or of a saying in general circulation that is quoted in Gilgamesh. In the epic, Gilgamesh, urging his friend Enkiddu to stick with hi in the endeavor to slay the monster Hombada, declares, as evidence of the advantage of joining forces, that a towed ship will not sink because "no man can snap the triple cord" by which it is fastened. Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print.http://www.aina.org/books/eog/eog.pdfhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh"
12 Raymond Huerta = "This illustrates an instance of the pattern of futility from one generation to the next- in this case, in regard to the exercise of power. Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print."
13 Raymond Huerta = "This might refer to another "poor child" who will be poised to seize power. This would be the "second child" in the next verse.Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print."
14 Raymond Huerta = "In the succession of generations, the leader's power is always precarious because those led are fickle. "Him" refers the third of the three kings. All this constitutes an application to the political realm of Qohelet's idea that it is pointless to amass wealth through toil because there is no way of knowing who will inherit it. Alter, Robert. "Qohelet 4." The Wisdom Books. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print."