Ecclesiastes 9

Men Are in the Hand of God

1For I have taken all this to my heart and explain
Lit all this
it that righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are b  in the hand of God. c  Man does not know whether it will be d  love or hatred; anything
Lit is before them
awaits him.

2 f  It is the same for all. There is g  one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and for the unclean; for the man who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good man is, so is the sinner; as the swearer is, so is the one who
Lit fears an oath
is afraid to swear.
3This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is i  one fate for all men. Furthermore j  the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and k  insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead. 4For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion. 5For the living know they will die; but the dead l  do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their m  memory is forgotten. 6Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a n  share in all that is done under the sun.

7Go then o  eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. 8Let your p  clothes be white all the time, and let not q  oil be lacking on your head. 9Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your
Lit life of vanity
s  fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun
Heb adds all the days of your vanity
; for this is your u  reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

Whatever Your Hand Finds to Do

10Whatever your hand finds to do v  do it with all your might; for there is no w  activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in x  Sheol where you are going.

11I again saw under the sun that the y  race is not to the swift and the z  battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor aa  wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and ab  chance overtake them all. 12Moreover, man does not ac  know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and ad  birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ae  ensnared at an evil time when it af  suddenly falls on them.

13Also this I came to see as wisdom under the sun, and
Lit great it was to me
it impressed me.
14There ah  was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it. 15But there was found in it a ai  poor wise man and he
Or might have delivered
delivered the city ak  by his wisdom. Yet al  no one remembered that poor man.
16So I said am  Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded. 17The an  words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18 ao  Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but ap  one sinner destroys much good.
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