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For there is a man whose labor was done with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and yet, to a man who has not worked for it he must leave his heritage. This also is like a vapor,

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it is a great big misery-inducing calamity.

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For there is a man who carried on his work in a wise and spiritually sound manner, with proper insight and obvious skill, and yet he has to leave all he has accomplished to a man who has not worked for it. This too is like a vapor;

it feels so wrong that it’s driving me crazy.



In this case it is like a vapor because it is E: not easily understood and therefore is Endlessly frustrating. No matter how smart his successor was, he would likely not take care of things like Solomon would because he had not invested himself in it the way Solomon had.

2: “misery-inducing calamity”

This word can mean “something bad,” with, or without moral and ethical connotations, depending on the context. In this case there is no ethical or moral aspect involved. As usual, there are various possible ways to translate this word. It can mean something that is “unpleasant, or causes illness, or something that is injurious, harmful or distressing.” It can also mean “mischief, calamity or misery.” Many translations have rendered this phrase as “a great evil,” but our English use of “evil” always carries moral and ethical significance, which are not in view here, therefore I have chosen to call it a “calamity.” In the paraphrase column I have chosen to point to the heart of the matter, the nature of the calamity and its related misery. It is a mental state in which an analytical mind works to solve an unsolvable problem; it is the frustration caused by a riddle without a solution. Notice that once again death is at the center of this problem, for it is death that causes us to leave our accomplishments behind to be unappreciated by someone who does not understand the sweat-equity invested in bringing it about. That lack of appreciation means there is a very high likelihood of our accomplishments being destroyed after we are gone.