The solitary worker (Eccl 4:7-4:8)


I saw vanity under the sun.

There is the case of solitary individuals

Without sons or brothers.

Yet there is no end to all their toil.

Their eyes are never satisfied with riches.

They ask.

‘For whom am I toiling?

Why am I depriving myself of pleasure?’

 This also is vanity.

This is an unhappy business.”

Once again, Qoheleth saw vanity all over the place. This time it is a solitary worker with no brothers or sons. They never seemed satisfied with riches. Why didn’t they ask themselves some questions? Why were they working? Why were they depriving themselves of pleasure? All this hard work was a futile unhappy business for the solitary worker. Who was he working for, other than himself?