Wisdom and Folly Contrasted1 A 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.
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
▼ I.e. deaththat is the d end of every man,
And the living ▼
▼ Lit gives, f takes it to ▼
▼ Lit his heartheart.
3 h Sorrow is better than laughter,
For i when a face is sad a heart may be happy.
4 The ▼ mind of the wise is in the house of mourning,
While the ▼ mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.
5 It is better to l listen to the rebuke of a wise man
Than for one to listen to the song of fools.
6 For as the ▼
▼ Lit voicecrackling of n thorn bushes under a pot,
So is the o laughter of the fool;
And this too is futility.
7 For p oppression makes a wise man mad,
And a q bribe ▼
▼ Lit destroyscorrupts the heart.
8 The s end of a matter is better than its beginning;
t Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.
9 Do not be ▼
▼ Lit hasty in your spirit, v eager in your heart to be angry,
For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
11 Wisdom along with an inheritance is good
And an w advantage to those who see the sun.
12 For x wisdom is ▼
▼ Lit in a shadowprotection just as money is ▼
▼ Lit in a shadowprotection,
But the advantage of knowledge is that aa wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.
13 Consider 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.
15 I 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. 16 Do not be excessively ak righteous and do not al be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you am die before your time? 18 It is good that you grasp one thing and also not ▼
▼ Lit rest your handlet go of the other; for the one who ao fears God comes forth with ▼
▼ Lit allboth of them. 19 aq Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Indeed ar there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21 Also, do not ▼
▼ Lit give your heart totake seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant at cursing you. 22 For ▼
▼ Lit your heart knows alsoyou also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others. 23 I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” av but it was far from me. 24 What has been is remote and aw exceedingly ▼
▼ Lit deepmysterious. ay Who can discover it? 25 I ▼
▼ Lit turned about, ba directed my ▼ mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And 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. 27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 which ▼
▼ Lit my soul still seeksI 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. 29 “Behold, I have found only this, that bi God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”
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