The Value of Wisdom
1A good name is better than precious ointments: and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
2It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting: for in that we are put in mind of the end of all, and the living thinketh what is to come.
3Anger is better than laughter: because by the sadness of the countenance the mind of the offender is corrected.
4The heart of the wise is where there is mourning, and the heart of fools where there is mirth.
5It is better to be rebuked by a wise man, than to be deceived by the flattery of fools.
6For as the crackling of thorns burning under a pot, so is the laughter of a fool: now this also is vanity.
7Oppression troubleth the wise, and shall destroy the strength of his heart.
8Better is the end of a speech than the beginning. Better is the patient man than the presumptuous.
9Be not quickly angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of a fool.
10Say not: What thinkest thou is the cause that former times were better than they are now? for this manner of question is foolish.
11Wisdom with riches is more profitable, and bringeth more advantage to them that see the sun.
12For as wisdom is a defence, so money is a defence : but learning and wisdom excel in this, that they give life to him that possesseth them.
13Consider the works of God, that no man can correct whom he hath despised.
14In the good day enjoy good things, and beware beforehand of the evil day: for God hath made both the one and the other, that man may not find against him any just complaint.
Limits of Human Wisdom
15These things also I saw in the days of my vanity: A just man perisheth in his justice, and a wicked man liveth a long time in his wickedness. 16Be not over just: and be not more wise than is necessary, lest thou become stupid. 17Be not overmuch wicked: and be not foolish, lest thou die before thy time. 18It is good that thou shouldst hold up the just, yea and from him withdraw not thy hand: for he that feareth God, neglecteth nothing.
19Wisdom hath strengthened the wise more than ten princes of the city. 20For there is no just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not. 21But do not apply thy heart to all words that are spoken: lest perhaps thou hear thy servant reviling thee. 22For thy conscience knoweth that thou also hast often spoken evil of others.
23I have tried all things in wisdom. I have said: I will be wise: and it departed farther from me, 24Much more than it was: it is a great depth, who shall find it out? 25I have surveyed all things with my mind, to know, and consider, and seek out wisdom and reason: and to know the wickedness of the fool, and the error of the imprudent: 26And I have found a woman more bitter than death, who is the hunter's snare, and her heart is a net, and her hands are bands. He that pleaseth God shall escape from her: but he that is a sinner, shall be caught by her.
27Lo this have I found, said Ecclesiastes, weighing one thing after another, that I might find out the account, 28Which yet my soul seeketh, and I have not found it. One man among a thousand I have found, a woman among them all I have not found. 29Only this I have found, that God made man right, and he hath entangled himself with an infinity of questions. Who is as the wise man? and who hath known the resolution of the word?