A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death, than the day of one’s birth. 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made glad. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity. 7 Surely extortion makes a wise man foolish; and a bribe destroys the understanding.
8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Be not hasty in your spirit to be angry; for anger rests in the bosom of fools. 10 Say not, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? For you did not inquire wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance; yes, more excellent is it for them that see the sun. 12 For wisdom is a defence, even as money is a defence; but the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him that has it. 13 Consider the work of Elohim: for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked? 14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yes, Elohim has made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything that shall be after him.
15 All this have I seen in my days of vanity: there is a righteous man that perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his evil-doing. 16 Be not righteous overmuch; neither make yourself overwise: why should you destroy yourself? 17 Be not overmuch wicked, neither be you foolish: why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you should take hold of this; yes, also from that withdraw not hand: for he that fears Elohim shall come forth from them all.
19 Wisdom is a strength to the wise man more than ten rulers that are in a city. 20 Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that does good, and sins not. 21 Also take not heed to all words that are spoken, lest you hear your servant curse you; 22 for many times also your own heart knows that you yourself likewise have cursed others.
23 All this have I proved in wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me. 24 That which is, is far off and very deep; who can find it out? 25 I turned about, and my heart was set to know and to search out, and to seek wisdom and the reason of things, and to know that wickedness is folly, and that foolishness is madness: 26 and I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are bands: whoever pleases Elohim shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. 27 Behold, this have I found, says the Preacher, laying one thing to another, to find out the account; 28 which my soul still seeks, but I have not found: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found 29 Behold, this only have I found: that Elohim made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
Who is as the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face to shine, and the hardness of his face is changed. 2 I counsel you, Keep the king’s command, and that in regard of the oath of Elohim. 3 Be not hasty to go out of his presence; persist not in an evil thing: for he does whatever pleases him. 4 For the king’s word has power; and who may say to him, What are you doing? 5 Whoever keeps the commandment shall know no evil thing; and a wise man’s heart discerns time and judgment: 6 for to every purpose there is a time and judgment; because the misery of man is great upon him: 7 for he knows not that which shall be; for who can tell him how it shall be? 8 There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither has he power over the day of death; and there is no discharge in war: neither shall wickedness deliver him that is given to it.
9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: there is a time in which one man has power over another to his hurt. 10 So I saw the wicked buried, and they came to the grave; and they that had done right went away from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city: this also is vanity. 11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and prolongs his days, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear Elohim, that fear before him: 13 but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he fears not before Elohim.
14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth, that there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity. 15 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be joyful: for that shall remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which Elohim has given him under the sun.
16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth, (for also there is that neither day nor night sees sleep with his eyes,) 17 then I beheld all the work of Elohim, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because however much a man labors to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yes moreover, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of Elohim; whether it is love or hatred, man knows it not; all is before them. 2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean and to the unclean; to him that sacrifices and to him that sacrifices not; as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that swears, as he that fears an oath. 3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4 For to him that is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 As well their love, as their hatred and their envy, is perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.
7 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for Elohim has already accepted your works. 8 Let your garments be always white; and let not your head lack oil. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your life of vanity, which he has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity: for that is your portion in life, and in your labor in which you labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you go.
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all. 12 For man also knows not his time: as the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.
13 I have also seen wisdom under the sun on this wise, and it seemed great to me: 14 there was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: 15 now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. 16 Then I said, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the cry of him that rules among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.