So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
2 Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.
3 Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
Solomon turned back to his earlier observations: The tears of the oppressed; the power of the oppressors; neither had a comforter; it is better to be dead; better yet to never have been born.
Clearly, he is still looking at everything “under the sun,” or through the eyes of man and not the eyes of God. Because his vision was through human eyes, he came to rather dismal conclusions:
Because of the oppression and travail of the oppressed, and because there was no comfort for the oppressed or the oppressor, Solomon concluded that the dead are better off than the living, and that not to have been born would be even better than being dead.
At the end of Chapter 3, he actually seemed to be finding his way; but Chapter 4 took him right back down to the dismals. But don’t lose hope; he does get it right, and in this chapter you will see that his thinking is finally coming to a better perspective.