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Ecclesiastes 4 - NIV

Oppression, Toil, Friendlessness

1 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:

I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
and they have no comforter.

2 And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.

3 But better than both
is the one who has never been born,
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun.

4 And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.


Fools fold their hands
and ruin themselves.

6 Better one handful with tranquillity
than two handfuls with toil
and chasing after the wind.

7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:


There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!


Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:

10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Advancement Is Meaningless

13 Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning.

14 The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom.

15 I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor.

16 There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Sermons on Ecclesiastes 4 More sermons: Ecclesiastes 4

Rick Burdette avatar
Strength in Numbers
Shared by: Rick Burdette on Oct, 2016
Summary: Strength, Unity, Purpose, Encouragement
Ed Vasicek avatar
Balancing Life on the High Wire
Shared by: Ed Vasicek on Oct, 2016
Summary: To some of us, seeking to live a balanced life is natural; to others, it is anything but natural. Nonetheless, the only way to obey all of God’s commands is through balance; we prefer to pick and chose instead.
Derrick Tuper avatar
Strength in Numbers
Shared by: Derrick Tuper on Sep, 2016
Summary: In Ecc. 4:9-12 Solomon talks about the benefits of relationships. He gives reasons why two are better than one. No matter what kind of relationship you have: church, family, friends or romantic, there’s great value where two or more are gathered.
Elmer Towns avatar
Praying with Others Lesson 3
Shared by: Elmer Towns on Sep, 2016
Summary: Praying with others is both powerful and practical to get answers to prayers
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 39
John Hamby avatar
Together we Stand
Shared by: John Hamby on Apr, 2016
Summary: The value of working together.
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:4-16
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 2,236
Matthew Botha avatar
Better together Part 3
Shared by: Matthew Botha on Apr, 2016
Summary: God has accepted you through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. In this message we learn how to develop a culture of acceptance
Matthew Botha avatar
The stretcher principle
Shared by: Matthew Botha on Mar, 2016
Summary: God carries us and the prayers of other believers also carry us when we cannot or are too weak to carry ourselves
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 429
Matthew Botha avatar
Three strands
Shared by: Matthew Botha on Mar, 2016
Summary: God wants you to live relationally with other people and not in isolation
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 437
John Hamby avatar
"Where Is The Justice In That?"
Shared by: John Hamby on Mar, 2016
Summary: Dealing with injustice and oppression.
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 881
Tom Shepard avatar
Ecclesiastes Chapter Four
Shared by: Tom Shepard on Nov, 2015
Summary: This is a verse by verse look at Ecclesiastes chapter four.
based on 4 ratings
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:1-16
Denomination: Independent Bible
Views: 887
Davon Huss avatar
You've Got a Friend
Shared by: Davon Huss on Aug, 2015
Summary: There are 4 situations that tell how true a friend is from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (Outline and material adapted from Sermon Central's Emil Boniog at: http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/do-you-have-a-true-friend-emil-boniog-sermon-on-character-89366.asp)
Michael Deutsch avatar
The Need for Community
Shared by: Michael Deutsch on Jul, 2015
Summary: A look at chapter 4. We need to live within community.
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:4-12
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 391
Wade M. Hughes, Sr avatar
Build a team-- Synergism
Shared by: Wade M. Hughes, Sr on Jul, 2015
Summary: What does it take to build a team? Team work is beautiful. If people would pull together and not worry about who gets the credit... The lineman must block for the quarterback to win.
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:12
Denomination: Assembly Of God
Views: 969
Jeff Strite avatar
Life's Not Fair
Shared by: Jeff Strite on Jul, 2015
Summary: Solomon is troubled by the unfairness of life. But he was the king - why didn't he just legislate away injustice and punish all the wrong-doers and give away some his vast wealth to feed the poor? Why wouldn't that work?
based on 15 ratings
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:1-6
Views: 13,238
Tim Smith avatar
Shared by: Tim Smith on May, 2015
Summary: This sermon looks at why we mentor others in the faith and leadership
Series: CSI:Church
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Denomination: Methodist
Views: 1,184
J Jeffrey  Smead avatar
In Search Of The North Pole
Shared by: J Jeffrey Smead on Feb, 2015
Summary: In the Book "Winnie the Pooh and the North Pole"; Christopher Robin has organized a band of animals on a journey to the North Pole. It seems to me, that this expedition to the North Pole is symbolic of our culture's quest for the spiritual.
Keith Broyles avatar
Burning Embers
Shared by: Keith Broyles on Oct, 2014
Summary: iVow is a stewardship series using the United Methodist Church membership vows saying, "I will uphold this congregation with my prayers, presences, gifts, service and witness." The sermon is on presence.
Series: iVow
Brian Bill avatar
Wedding Message
Shared by: Brian Bill on Jul, 2014
Summary: A marriage relationship involves working, walking, warming, withstanding and worshipping.
based on 3 ratings
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 2,907
Chris Jordan avatar
Our Church Family: A Place for You to Belong
Shared by: Chris Jordan on Mar, 2014
Summary: The church is a family – a place of serving together, support and encouragement, spiritual warmth, and standing strong together.
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Denomination: Foursquare
Views: 1,072
Davon Huss avatar
I'm Working More But Enjoying It Less
Shared by: Davon Huss on Jan, 2014
Summary: A sermon on labor, work from Ecclesiastes (Title, Material and outline adapted from Dan Blazer's book, Life Is Worth Living, chapter 5)
Mark A. Barber avatar
The Death Spiral or the Life Spiral
Shared by: Mark A. Barber on Jan, 2014
Summary: Life is not going into circles. Like the threads on a screw, we either are spiraling up or down,
Denomination: United Methodist
Views: 352
Hans Manaka avatar
Shared by: Hans Manaka on Jan, 2014
Summary: This is for the preparation of those who believe that there is a call of God in their lives to start a church or ministry. It is made to make them see the possibilities of starting what God has call them to do.
Scott Bayles avatar
Holy Heroes: Batman
Shared by: Scott Bayles on Jan, 2014
Summary: This fun sermon series uses comic-book heroes as modern-day parables, uncovering hidden spiritual messages in the stories of superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Spider-man. Most of these sermons are expository, alliterated and have PowerPoint!
Series: Holy Heroes
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-11
Denomination: Christian Church
Views: 2,291
Shared by: ROBERT SIMMONS on Jan, 2014
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Denomination: Church Of God
Views: 595
John McCormack avatar
Shared by: John McCormack on Nov, 2013
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:5
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 523
David Henderson avatar
Why can't we be Friends?
Shared by: David Henderson on Sep, 2012
Summary: Unfortunately one of the things people will sometimes share with you and me is this: I don't have very many friends. Perhaps you have said that before. Or we may say you know I'm hurt. I thought they were my friend and I can't believe they did that to
David Henderson avatar
"Why can't we be Friends"
Shared by: David Henderson on Sep, 2013
Summary: Solomon and David both remind us that one of the best investments we will ever make in life is an investment in people…making friends. This message helps us learn how to do that.
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 1,151
Scott Bayles avatar
A Place to Belong
Shared by: Scott Bayles on Aug, 2013
Summary: Everyone needs a place to belong. A place that fits us like an old pair of jeans. A place that's as comfortable as our favorite recliner. This sermon explores the benefits of belonging to a church family. Expository and alliterated.
based on 11 ratings
Denomination: Christian Church
Views: 31,137
Scott Chambers avatar
Why Do we Need Relationships?
Shared by: Scott Chambers on Apr, 2013
Summary: This is the fourth message in a series from the book of Ecclesiastes that examines Solomon's wisdom in regard to the mistakes that he had made in his life. This message examines why God has wired us to need and desire relationships.
Chuck Sligh avatar
Friendship and the Church
Shared by: Chuck Sligh on Sep, 2012
Summary: The church is THE place to forge the best kinds of friendships. This Friend Sunday sermon challenges all to get into the fellowship of a church, a homegroup and service in the local church.
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 1,212