Ecclesiastes Chapter 9 |
1For all this I noted, and I ascertained all this: that the actions of even the righteous and the wise are determined by God. Even love! Even hate! Man knows none of these in advance 2—none! For the same fate is in store for all: for the righteous, and for the wicked; for the good and pure, and for the impure; for him who sacrifices, and for him who does not; for him who is pleasing, and for him who is displeasing; and for him who swears, and for him who shuns oaths. 3That is the sad thing about all that goes on under the sun: that the same fate is in store for all. (Not only that, but men’s hearts are full of sadness, and their minds of madness, while they live; and then—to the dead!) 4For he who is reckoned among the living has something to look forward to—even a live dog is better than a dead lion— 5since the living know they will die. But the dead know nothing; they have no more recompense, for even the memory of them has died. 6Their loves, their hates, their jealousies have long since perished; and they have no more share till the end of time in all that goes on under the sun.
7Go, eat your bread in gladness, and drink your wine in joy; for your action was long ago approved by God. 8Let your clothes always be freshly washed, and your head never lack ointment. 9Enjoy happiness with a woman you love all the fleeting days of life that have been granted to you under the sun—all your fleeting days. For that alone is what you can get out of life and out of the means you acquire under the sun. 10Whatever it is in your power to do, do with all your might. For there is no action, no reasoning, no learning, no wisdom in Sheol, where you are going.
11I have further observed under the sun that
The race is not won by the swift,
Nor the battle by the valiant;
Nor is bread won by the wise,
Nor wealth by the intelligent,
Nor favor by the learned.
For the time of mischance comes to all. 12And a man cannot even know his time. As fishes are enmeshed in a fatal net, and as birds are trapped in a snare, so men are caught at the time of calamity, when it comes upon them without warning.
13This thing too I observed under the sun about wisdom, and it affected me profoundly.
14There was a little city, with few men in it; and to it came a great king, who invested it and built mighty siege works against it.
15Present in the city was a poor wise man who might have saved it with his wisdom, but nobody thought of that poor man.
16So I observed: Wisdom is better than valor; but
A poor man’s wisdom is scorned,
And his words are not heeded.
17Words spoken softly by wise men are heeded sooner than those shouted by a lord in folly.
18Wisdom is more valuable than weapons of war, but a single error destroys much of value.