Ecclesiastes 9

Death Comes to All

1But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, a  how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are b  in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him. 2 c  It is the same for all, since d  the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil,
Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks  and the evil
to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who f  swears is as he who shuns an oath.
3This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that g  the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and h  madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5For the living know that they will die, but i  the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for j  the memory of them is forgotten. 6Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.

Enjoy Life with the One You Love

7Go k  eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

8 l  Let your garments be always white. Let not m  oil be lacking on your head.

9Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your n  vain
The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)
life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your p  portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.
10Whatever your hand finds to do q  do it with your might
Or  finds to do with your might, do it
s  for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

Wisdom Better than Folly

11 t  Again I saw that under the sun u  the race is not to the swift, nor v  the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and w  chance x  happen to them all. 12For man y  does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and z  like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are aa  snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

13I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. 15But there was found in it ab  a poor, wise man, and he by his ac  wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16But I say that ad  wisdom is better than might, though ae  the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.

17The words of the wise heard in af  quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18 ag  Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but ah  one sinner destroys much good.

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