To live and work alone is another example of “vanity” or meaninglessness. Living and working together, however, will bring great reward.
Chapter 4 of Ecclesiastes begins with a deep lament: The poor and homeless have “no one to comfort them” (4:1). They are alone, with no one to provide help or support in times of trouble. Here the Teacher picks up the other side of the same theme, now speaking of the positive benefits of a life lived in connection with others. The comments here are down-to-earth and practical. Finally, in a world where muggings and robberies must have been as familiar as in our own time, life together with a partner is a life that is much less subject to danger (Ecclesiastes 4:12).