Ecclesiastes Chapter 7 |
1A good name is better than fragrant oil, and the day of death than the day of birth.
2It is better to go to a house of mourning than to a house of feasting; for that is the end of every man, and a living one should take it to heart.
3Vexation is better than revelry; for though the face be sad, the heart may be glad. 4Wise men are drawn to a house of mourning, and fools to a house of merrymaking.
5It is better to listen to a wise man’s reproof than to listen to the praise of fools. 6For the levity of the fool is like the crackling of nettles under a kettle. But that too is illusory; 7for cheating may rob the wise man of reason and destroy the prudence of the cautious.
8The end of a matter is better than the beginning of it.
Better a patient spirit than a haughty spirit.
9Don’t let your spirit be quickly vexed, for vexation abides in the breasts of fools.
10Don’t say, “How has it happened that former times were better than these?” For it is not wise of you to ask that question.
11Wisdom is as good as a patrimony, and even better, for those who behold the sun. 12For to be in the shelter of wisdom is to be also in the shelter of money, and the advantage of intelligence is that wisdom preserves the life of him who possesses it.
13Consider God’s doing! Who can straighten what He has twisted? 14So in a time of good fortune enjoy the good fortune; and in a time of misfortune, reflect: The one no less than the other was God’s doing; consequently, man may find no fault with Him.
15In my own brief span of life, I have seen both these things: sometimes a good man perishes in spite of his goodness, and sometimes a wicked one endures in spite of his wickedness. 16So don’t overdo goodness and don’t act the wise man to excess, or you may be dumfounded. 17Don’t overdo wickedness and don’t be a fool, or you may die before your time. 18It is best that you grasp the one without letting go of the other, for one who fears God will do his duty by both.
19Wisdom is more of a stronghold to a wise man than ten mag- nates that a city may contain.
20For there is not one good man on earth who does what is best and doesn’t err.
21Finally, don’t pay attention to everything that is said, so that you may not hear your slave reviling you; 22for well you remember the many times that you yourself have reviled others.
23All this I tested with wisdom. I thought I could fathom it, but it eludes me. 24[The secret of] what happens is elusive and deep, deep down; who can discover it? 25I put my mind to studying, exploring, and seeking wisdom and the reason of things, and to studying wickedness, stupidity, madness, and folly. 26Now, I find woman more bitter than death; she is all traps, her hands are fetters and her heart is snares. He who is pleasing to God escapes her, and he who is displeasing is caught by her. 27See, this is what I found, said Koheleth, item by item in my search for the reason of things. 28As for what I sought further but did not find, I found only one human being in a thousand, and the one I found among so many was never a woman. 29But, see, this I did find: God made men plain, but they have engaged in too much reasoning.