Ecclesiastes 7

Wise Sayings

1 A good name is better than fine perfume, a
and the day of one’s death than the day of one’s birth. b
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
since that is the end of all mankind,
and the living should take it to heart. c
3 Grief is better than laughter,
for when a face is sad, a heart may be glad. d
4 The heart of the wise is in a house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in a house of pleasure.
5 It is better to listen to rebuke from a wise person
than to listen to the song of fools, e
6 for like the crackling of burning thorns under the pot, f
so is the laughter of the fool.
This too is futile.
7 Surely, the practice of extortion turns a wise person into a fool, g
and a bribe destroys the mind. h
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning;
a patient spirit is better than a proud spirit. i
9 Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry,
for anger abides in the heart of fools. j
10 Don’t say, “Why were the former days better than these?” k
since it is not wise of you to ask this.
11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance
and an advantage to those who see the sun,
12 because wisdom is protection as money is protection,
and the advantage of knowledge
is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner. l
13 Consider the work of God, m
for who can straighten out
what He has made crooked? n

14In the day of prosperity be joyful, o but in the day of adversity, consider: God has made the one as well as the other, p so that man cannot discover anything that will come after him.

Avoiding Extremes

15 In my futile life
Lit days
I have seen everything: r there is a righteous man who perishes in spite of his righteousness, s and there is a wicked man who lives long in spite of his evil. t
16 Don’t be excessively righteous, and don’t be overly wise. u Why should you destroy yourself? 17 Don’t be excessively wicked, and don’t be foolish. Why should you die before your time? v 18It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who
fear(s) God or the Lord/ the fear of the Lord: No single English word conveys every aspect of the word fear in this phrase. The meaning includes worshipful submission, reverential awe, and obedient respect to the covenant-keeping God of Israel.
fears God will end up with both of them.

19 Wisdom makes the wise man stronger
than ten rulers of a city. x
20 There is certainly no righteous man on the earth
who does good and never sins. y

21 Don’t pay attention
Lit Don’t give your heart
to everything
people: Literally sons of man or sons of Adam
people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you, ab
22 for you know that many times you yourself have cursed others.

What the Teacher Found

23 I have tested all this by wisdom. I resolved, “I will be wise,” but it was beyond me. 24 What exists is beyond reach and very deep. ac Who can discover it? 25 I turned my thoughts to know, explore, and seek wisdom ad and an explanation for things, and to know that wickedness is stupidity and folly is madness. 26And I find more bitter than death ae the woman who is a trap, af her heart a net, and her hands chains. The one who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be captured by her. 27 “Look,” says the Teacher, “I have discovered this by adding one thing to another to find out the explanation, 28 which my soul continually searches for but does not find: among a thousand people I have found one true man, but among all these I have not found a true woman. ag 29 Only see this: I have discovered that God made people upright, ah but they pursued many schemes.”
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