Bible: Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:3

The Problem of Injustice and Oppression

3:16 I saw something else on earth: 1 

In the place of justice, there was wickedness,

and in the place of fairness, 2  there was wickedness.

3:17 I thought to myself, “God will judge both the righteous and the wicked;

for there is an appropriate time for every activity,

and there is a time of judgment 3  for every deed.

3:18 I also thought to myself, “It is 4  for the sake of people, 5 

so God can clearly 6  show 7  them that they are like animals.

3:19 For the fate of humans 8  and the fate of animals are the same:

As one dies, so dies the other; both have the same breath.

There is no advantage for humans over animals,

for both are fleeting.

3:20 Both go to the same place,

both come from the dust,

and to dust both return.

3:21 Who really knows if the human spirit 9  ascends upward,

and the animal’s spirit descends into the earth?

3:22 So I perceived there is nothing better than for people 10  to enjoy their work, 11 

because that is their 12  reward;

for who can show them what the future holds? 13 

Evil Oppression on Earth

4:1 So 14  I again considered 15  all the oppression 16  that continually occurs 17  on earth. 18 

This is what I saw: 19 

The oppressed 20  were in tears, 21  but no one was comforting them;

no one delivers 22  them from the power of their oppressors. 23 

4:2 So I considered 24  those who are dead and gone 25 

more fortunate than those who are still alive. 26 

4:3 But better than both is the one who has not been born 27 

and has not seen the evil things that are done on earth. 28 

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