1A good name is better than fine perfume,a
and the day of one’s death than the day of one’s birth.b
2It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
since that is the end of all mankind,
and the living should take it to heart.c
3Grief is better than laughter,
for when a face is sad, a heart may be glad.d
4The heart of the wise is in a house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in a house of pleasure.
5It is better to listen to rebuke from a wise person
than to listen to the song of fools,e
6for like the crackling of burning thorns under the pot,f
so is the laughter of the fool.
This too is futile.
7Surely, the practice of extortion turns a wise person into a fool,g
and a bribe destroys the mind.h
8The end of a matter is better than its beginning;
a patient spirit is better than a proud spirit.i
9Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry,
for anger abides in the heart of fools.j
10Don’t say, “Why were the former days better than these? ”k
since it is not wise of you to ask this.
11Wisdom is as good as an inheritance
and an advantage to those who see the sun,
12because wisdom is protection as money is protection,
and the advantage of knowledge
is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner.l
13Consider the work of God,m
for who can straighten out
what He has made crooked?n
14In the day of prosperity be joyful,o but in the day of adversity, consider: God has made the one as well as the other,p so that man cannot discover anything that will come after him.
15In my futile lifeq I have seen everything:r there is a righteous man who perishes in spite of his righteousness,s and there is a wicked man who lives long in spite of his evil.t
16Don’t be excessively righteous, and don’t be overly wise.u Why should you destroy yourself?
17Don’t be excessively wicked, and don’t be foolish. Why should you die before your time?v
18It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who •fears God will end up with both of them.
19Wisdom makes the wise man stronger
than ten rulers of a city.w
20There is certainly no righteous man on the earth
who does good and never sins.x
21Don’t pay attentiony to everything •people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you,z
22for you know that many times you yourself have cursed others.
What the Teacher Found
23I have tested all this by wisdom. I resolved, “I will be wise,” but it was beyond me.
24What exists is beyond reach and very deep.aa Who can discover it?
25I turned my thoughts to know, explore, and seek wisdomab and an explanation for things, and to know that wickedness is stupidity and folly is madness.
26And I find more bitter than deathac the woman who is a trap,ad her heart a net, and her hands chains. The one who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be captured by her.
27“Look,” says the Teacher, “I have discovered this by adding one thing to another to find out the explanation,
28which my soul continually searches for but does not find: among a thousand people I have found one true man, but among all these I have not found a true woman.ae
29Only see this: I have discovered that God made people upright,af but they pursued many schemes.”
a. 7:1 Pr 22:1; Ezk 36:21
b. 7:1 Ec 4:2
c. 7:2 Ps 90:12
d. 7:3 Pr 14:13
e. 7:5 Pr 13:1
f. 7:6 Ps 58:9; 118:12
g. 7:7 Ec 4:1
h. 7:7 Dt 16:19; Pr 17:8
i. 7:8 Pr 14:29
j. 7:9 Pr 14:17; Jms 1:19
k. 7:10 Jdg 6:13
l. 7:12 Pr 3:18
m. 7:13 Ec 3:11
n. 7:13 Ec 1:15
o. 7:14 Ec 3:22
p. 7:14 Lm 3:38
q. 7:15 Lit days
r. 7:15 Ec 6:12; 9:9
s. 7:15 Ec 8:14
t. 7:15 Ec 8:12-13
u. 7:16 Ec 2:15; Rm 12:3
v. 7:17 Jb 22:16; Ps 55:23; Pr 10:27
w. 7:19 Ec 9:13-18
x. 7:20 1Kg 8:46; Rm 3:23
y. 7:21 Lit Don’t give your heart
z. 7:21 Pr 30:10
aa. 7:24 Rm 11:33
ab. 7:25 Ec 1:15,17
ac. 7:26 Pr 5:4
ad. 7:26 Pr 6:25
ae. 7:28 1Kg 11:3
af. 7:29 Gn 1:27