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Ecclesiastes 6

 
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1 ἔστιν πονηρία ἣν εἶδον ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον καὶ πολλή ἐστιν ἐπὶ τὸν ἄνθρωπον 2 ἀνήρ ᾧ δώσει αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς πλοῦτον καὶ ὑπάρχοντα καὶ δόξαν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ὑστερῶν τῇ ψυχῇ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ πάντων ὧν ἐπιθυμήσει καὶ οὐκ ἐξουσιάσει αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς τοῦ φαγεῖν ἀ{P'} αὐτοῦ ὅτι ἀνὴρ ξένος φάγεται αὐτόν τοῦτο ματαιότης καὶ ἀρρωστία πονηρά ἐστιν 3 ἐὰν γεννήσῃ ἀνὴρ ἑκατὸν καὶ ἔτη πολλὰ ζήσεται καὶ πλῆθος ὅ τι ἔσονται ἡμέραι ἐτῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐμπλησθήσεται ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγαθωσύνης καί γε ταφὴ οὐκ ἐγένετο αὐτῷ εἶπα ἀγαθὸν ὑπὲρ αὐτὸν τὸ ἔκτρωμα 4 ὅτι ἐν ματαιότητι ἦλθεν καὶ ἐν σκότει πορεύεται καὶ ἐν σκότει ὄνομα αὐτοῦ καλυφθήσεται 5 καί γε ἥλιον οὐκ εἶδεν καὶ οὐκ ἔγνω ἀνάπαυσις τούτῳ ὑπὲρ τοῦτον 6 καὶ εἰ ἔζησεν χιλίων ἐτῶν καθόδους καὶ ἀγαθωσύνην οὐκ εἶδεν μὴ οὐκ εἰς τόπον ἕνα τὰ πάντα πορεύεται 1 With another hardship I have seen men visited here beneath the sun, and commonly. 2 God gives a man wealth, and goods, and state, till there is nothing more left for his appetites to desire; and then God denies him the enjoyment of all this, throws the coveted morsel to a stranger instead; here is frustration, here is cold comfort indeed. 3 Ay, let a man have a hundred children to his name, years let him have a many, and be near his end; yet, if he is not to enjoy the revenues of his land still, and lay his bones in it,[1] I say it were better for him never to have come to the birth. 4 Well made, the empty passage from light to darkness, well lost, the chance of earthly renown, 5 if only a man never sees the sun, never learns the meaning of good fortune and ill! 6 Though he should have lived two thousand years, he were none the better for it, if he might not continue in the enjoyment of his goods. Do we not all reach the same goal at last?[2] 1

Est et aliud malum quod vidi sub sole,
et quidem frequens apud homines:
2
vir cui dedit Deus divitias,
et substantiam, et honorem,
et nihil deest animæ suæ ex omnibus quæ desiderat;
nec tribuit ei potestatem Deus ut comedat ex eo,
sed homo extraneus vorabit illud:
hoc vanitas et miseria magna est.
3
Si genuerit quispiam centum liberos,
et vixerit multos annos,
et plures dies ætatis habuerit,
et anima illius non utatur bonis substantiæ suæ,
sepulturaque careat:
de hoc ergo pronuntio quod melior illo sit abortivus.
4
Frustra enim venit,
et pergit ad tenebras,
et oblivione delebitur nomen ejus.
5
Non vidit solem,
neque cognovit distantiam boni et mali.
6
Etiam si duobus millibus annis vixerit,
et non fuerit perfruitus bonis,
nonne ad unum locum properant omnia?
7 πᾶς μόχθος τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰς στόμα αὐτοῦ καί γε ἡ ψυχὴ οὐ πληρωθήσεται 8 ὅτι τίς περισσεία τῷ σοφῷ ὑπὲρ τὸν ἄφρονα διότι ὁ πένης οἶδεν πορευθῆναι κατέναντι τῆς ζωῆς 7 What is all our striving, but a full mouth and an empty belly? 8 Is wise man more to be envied than fool? Where should a man go when he is poor, save where he can find a livelihood?[3] 7
Omnis labor hominis in ore ejus;
sed anima ejus non implebitur.
8
Quid habet amplius sapiens a stulto?
et quid pauper, nisi ut pergat illuc ubi est vita?
9 ἀγαθὸν ὅραμα ὀφθαλμῶν ὑπὲρ πορευόμενον ψυχῇ καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης καὶ προαίρεσις πνεύματος 9 Better aim at what lies in view than hanker after dreams. But indeed all is frustration, and labour lost. 9
Melius est videre quod cupias,
quam desiderare quod nescias.
Sed et hoc vanitas est, et præsumptio spiritus.
10 εἴ τι ἐγένετο ἤδη κέκληται ὄνομα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐγνώσθη ὅ ἐστιν ἄνθρωπος καὶ οὐ δυνήσεται τοῦ κριθῆναι μετὰ τοῦ ἰσχυροῦ ὑπὲρ αὐτόν 10 He is known already by name, that is still unborn; and this at least is known of him, that he is but man, and cannot plead his cause, matched against too strong an adversary. 10
Qui futurus est, jam vocatum est nomen ejus;
et scitur quod homo sit,
et non possit contra fortiorem se in judicio contendere.
11 ὅτι εἰσὶν λόγοι πολλοὶ πληθύνοντες ματαιότητα τί περισσὸν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ 11 Words, they be spun endlessly; yet what should lie at the heart of our reasoning, but frustration? 11
Verba sunt plurima,
multamque in disputando habentia vanitatem.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.