The futility of work (Eccl 4:4-4:6)

“Then I saw that all toil

 Comes from one person’s envy of another.

All skill in work

Comes from one person’s envy of another.

This also is vanity.

This is chasing after wind.

‘Fools fold their hands.

Fools consume their own flesh.

Better is a handful with quiet

Than two handfuls with toil

Chasing after wind.’”

Qoheleth saw that everyone worked with skill because of the envy that they had for others. This was useless, like chasing after the wind, never able to catch it. Fools fold their hands and devour themselves. It is much better to be quiet with a little bit of wealth than to toil with two handfuls. All work seems to be futile, like chasing after the unattainable wind.