Wisdom and Folly Contrasted
1 A good R147 name is better than a good ointment,
And the day R148 of one's death is better than the day of one's birth.
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because that F92 is the end R149 of every man,
And the living takes R150 F93 it to heart. F94
3 Sorrow R151 is better than laughter,
For when R152 a face is sad a heart may be happy.
4 The mind F95 of the wise is in the house of mourning,
While the mind F95 of fools is in the house of pleasure.
5 It is better to listen R153 to the rebuke of a wise man
Than for one to listen to the song of fools.
6 For as the crackling F96 of thorn R154 bushes under a pot,
So is the laughter R155 of the fool;
And this too is futility.
7 For oppression R156 makes a wise man mad,
And a bribe R157 corrupts F97 the heart.
8 The end R158 of a matter is better than its beginning;
Patience R159 of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.
9 Do not be eager R160 F98 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 R161 to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom R162 is protection F99 just as money is protection, F99
But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom R163 preserves the lives of its possessors.
13 Consider the work R164 of God,
For who is able R165 to straighten what He has bent?
14 In R166 the day of prosperity be happy,
But in R167 the day of adversity consider--
God has made the one as well as the other
So that man will not R168 discover anything that will be after him.
15 I have seen everything during my lifetime R169 F100 of futility; there is a R170 righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a R171 wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16 Do not be excessively righteous R172 and do not be R173 overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die R174 before your time? 18 It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let F101 go of the other; for the one who fears R175 God comes forth with both F102 of them.
19 Wisdom R176 strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Indeed, there R177 is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21 Also, do not take F103 seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing R178 you. 22 For you F104 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 R179 it was far from me. 24 What has been is remote and exceedingly R180 mysterious. F105 Who R181 can discover it? 25 I directed R182 F106 my mind F107 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 R183 than death the woman whose heart is snares R184 and nets, whose hands are chains. One R185 who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the R186 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 F108 am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman R187 among all these. 29 "Behold, I have found only this, that God R188 made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."
F92: I.e. death
F93: Lit gives
F94: Lit his heart
F95: Lit heart
F95: Lit heart
F96: Lit voice
F97: Lit destroys
F98: Lit hasty in your spirit
F99: Lit in a shadow
F99: Lit in a shadow
F100: Lit days
F101: Lit rest your hand
F102: Lit all
F103: Lit give your heart to
F104: Lit your heart knows also
F105: Lit deep
F106: Lit turned about
F107: Lit heart
F108: Lit my soul still seeks
R147: Proverbs 22:1
R148: Ecclesiastes 4:2; 7:8
R149: Ecclesiastes 2:14,16; 3:19,20; 6:6; 9:2,3
R150: Psalms 90:12
R151: Ecclesiastes 2:2
R152: 2 Corinthians 7:10
R153: Psalms 141:5; Proverbs 6:23; 13:18; 15:31,32; 25:12; Ecclesiastes 9:17
R154: Psalms 58:9; 118:12
R155: Ecclesiastes 2:2
R156: Ecclesiastes 4:1; 5:8
R157: Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19; Proverbs 17:8,23
R158: Ecclesiastes 7:1
R159: Proverbs 14:29; 16:32; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:2
R160: Proverbs 14:17; James 1:19
R161: Proverbs 8:10,11; Ecclesiastes 2:13
R162: Ecclesiastes 7:19; 9:18
R163: Proverbs 3:18; 8:35
R164: Ecclesiastes 3:11; 8:17
R165: Ecclesiastes 1:15
R166: Deuteronomy 26:11; Ecclesiastes 3:22; 9:7; 11:9
R167: Deuteronomy 8:5; Job 1:2:10
R168: Ecclesiastes 3:22
R169: Ecclesiastes 6:12; 9:9
R170: Ecclesiastes 8:14
R171: Ecclesiastes 8:12,13
R172: Proverbs 25:16; Philippians 3:6
R173: Romans 12:3
R174: Job 1:22:16; Psalms 55:23; Proverbs 10:27
R175: Ecclesiastes 3:14; 5:7; 8:12,13; 12:13
R176: Ecclesiastes 7:12; 9:13-18
R177: 1 Kings 8:46; 2 Chronicles 6:36; Psalms 143:2; Proverbs 20:9; Romans 3:23
R178: Proverbs 30:10
R179: Ecclesiastes 3:11; 8:17
R180: Romans 11:33
R181: Job 1:11:7; 37:23; Ecclesiastes 8:17
R182: Ecclesiastes 1:15,17; 10:13
R183: Proverbs 5:4
R184: Proverbs 7:23
R185: Proverbs 6:23,24
R186: Proverbs 22:14
R187: 1 Kings 11:3
R188: Genesis 1:27