Ecclesiastes 7

Wisdom and Folly Contrasted

1A a  good name is better than a good ointment,
And the b  day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.
2It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
I.e. death
that is the d  end of every man,
And the living
Lit gives
f  takes it to
Lit his heart
3 h  Sorrow is better than laughter,
For i  when a face is sad a heart may be happy.
Lit heart
mind of the wise is in the house of mourning,
While the
Lit heart
mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.
5It is better to l  listen to the rebuke of a wise man
Than for one to listen to the song of fools.
6For as the
Lit voice
crackling of n  thorn bushes under a pot,
So is the o  laughter of the fool;
And this too is futility.
7For p  oppression makes a wise man mad,
And a q  bribe
Lit destroys
corrupts the heart.
8The s  end of a matter is better than its beginning;
t  Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.
9Do not be
Lit hasty in your spirit
v  eager in your heart to be angry,
For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
10Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
11Wisdom along with an inheritance is good
And an w  advantage to those who see the sun.
12For x  wisdom is
Lit in a shadow
protection just as money is
Lit in a shadow
But the advantage of knowledge is that aa  wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.
13Consider the ab  work of God,
For who is ac  able to straighten what He has bent?
14 ad  In the day of prosperity be happy,
But ae  in the day of adversity consider
God has made the one as well as the other
So that man will af  not discover anything that will be after him.

15I have seen everything during my
Lit days
ah  lifetime of futility; there is ai  a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is aj  a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.
16Do not be excessively ak  righteous and do not al  be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you am  die before your time? 18It is good that you grasp one thing and also not
Lit rest your hand
let go of the other; for the one who ao  fears God comes forth with
Lit all
both of them.

19 aq  Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20Indeed ar  there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21Also, do not
Lit give your heart to
take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant at  cursing you.
Lit your heart knows also
you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others.

23I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” av  but it was far from me. 24What has been is remote and aw  exceedingly
Lit deep
mysterious. ay  Who can discover it?
Lit turned about
ba  directed my
Lit heart
mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness.
26And I discovered more bc  bitter than death the woman whose heart is bd  snares and nets, whose hands are chains. be  One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but bf  the sinner will be captured by her.

27Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28which
Lit my soul still seeks
I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a bh  woman among all these.
29Behold, I have found only this, that bi  God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”
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