Bible: Ecclesiastes 4:4-16
Labor Motivated by Envy
This also is profitless – like 6 chasing the wind.
4:5 The fool folds his hands and does no work, 7
so he has nothing to eat but his own flesh. 8
4:6 Better is one handful with some rest
than two hands full of toil 9 and chasing the wind.
Labor Motivated by Greed
4:8 A man who is all alone with no companion, 14
he has no children nor siblings; 15
yet there is no end to all his toil,
and he 16 is never satisfied with riches.
This also is futile and a burdensome task! 20
Labor is Beneficial When Its Rewards Are Shared
4:9 Two people are better than one,
4:10 For if they fall, one will help his companion up,
but pity 23 the person who falls down and has no one to help him up.
4:11 Furthermore, if two lie down together, they can keep each other warm,
but how can one person keep warm by himself?
4:12 Although an assailant may overpower 24 one person,
two can withstand him.
Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken.
Labor Motivated by Prestige-Seeking
4:13 A poor but wise youth is better than an old and foolish king
who no longer knows how to receive advice.
4:14 For he came out of prison 25 to become king,
even though he had been born poor in what would become his 26 kingdom.
4:15 I considered all the living who walk on earth, 27
yet future generations 32 will not rejoice in him.
This also is profitless and like 33 chasing the wind.