King James 2000
1For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knows either love or hatred by all that is before them.
2All 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.
3This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, 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.
4For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in any thing that is done under the sun.
7Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God now accepts your works.
8Let your garments be always white; and let your head lack no ointment.
9Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of the life of your vanity, which he has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity: for that is your portion in this life, and in your labor which you perform under the sun.
10Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
11I 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.
12For 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; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.
Wisdom Is Better Than Strength
13This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:
14There 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:
15Now 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.
16Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
17The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that rules among fools.
18Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroys much good.