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1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and it is prevalent among men-- 2 a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction. 3 If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, Better the miscarriage than he, 4 for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity. 5 It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he. 6 Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things--do not all go to one place? 7 All a mans labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied. 8 For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living? 9 What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires. This too is futility and a striving after wind. 10 Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is. 11 For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man? 12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?
1 A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of ones death is better than the day of ones birth. 2 It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy. 4 The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, While the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure. 5 It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility. 7 For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. 9 Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. 10 Do not say, Why is it that the former days were better than these? For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. 11 Wisdom along with an inheritance is good And an advantage to those who see the sun. 12 For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors. 13 Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent? 14 In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider-- God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him. 15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16 Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them. 19 Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21 Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. 22 For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others. 23 I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, I will be wise, but it was far from me. 24 What has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it? 25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her. 27 Behold, I have discovered this, says the Preacher, adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these. 29 Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.
1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A mans wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam. 2 I say, Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God. 3 Do not be in a hurry to leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases. 4 Since the word of the king is authoritative, who will say to him, What are you doing? 5 He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. 6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a mans trouble is heavy upon him. 7 If no one knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen? 8 No man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of death; and there is no discharge in the time of war, and evil will not deliver those who practice it. 9 All this I have seen and applied my mind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt. 10 So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility. 11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil. 12 Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly. 13 But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God. 14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility. 15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun. 16 When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should never sleep day or night), 17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, I know, he cannot discover.