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Ecclesiastes 5:9–10:9

9But all things considered, this is an advantage for a land: a king for a plowed field. 10The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is vanity. 11When goods increase, those who eat them increase; and what gain has their owner but to see them with his eyes? 12Sweet is the sleep of laborers, whether they eat little or much; but the surfeit of the rich will not let them sleep. 13There is a grievous ill that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owners to their hurt, 14and those riches were lost in a bad venture; though they are parents of children, they have nothing in their hands. 15As they came from their mother’s womb, so they shall go again, naked as they came; they shall take nothing for their toil, which they may carry away with their hands. 16This also is a grievous ill: just as they came, so shall they go; and what gain do they have from toiling for the wind? 17Besides, all their days they eat in darkness, in much vexation and sickness and resentment.

18This is what I have seen to be good: it is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of the life God gives us; for this is our lot. 19Likewise all to whom God gives wealth and possessions and whom he enables to enjoy them, and to accept their lot and find enjoyment in their toil—this is the gift of God. 20For they will scarcely brood over the days of their lives, because God keeps them occupied with the joy of their hearts.

6There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy upon humankind: 2those to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that they lack nothing of all that they desire, yet God does not enable them to enjoy these things, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous ill. 3A man may beget a hundred children, and live many years; but however many are the days of his years, if he does not enjoy life’s good things, or has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. 4For it comes into vanity and goes into darkness, and in darkness its name is covered; 5moreover it has not seen the sun or known anything; yet it finds rest rather than he. 6Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to one place?

7All human toil is for the mouth, yet the appetite is not satisfied. 8For what advantage have the wise over fools? And what do the poor have who know how to conduct themselves before the living? 9Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire; this also is vanity and a chasing after wind. 10Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what human beings are, and that they are not able to dispute with those who are stronger.

11The more words, the more vanity, so how is one the better? 12For who knows what is good for mortals while they live the few days of their vain life, which they pass like a shadow? For who can tell them what will be after them under the sun?

7A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death, than the day of birth. 2It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting; for this is the end of everyone, and the living will lay it to heart. 3Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad. 4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 5It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. 6For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of fools; this also is vanity.

7Surely oppression makes the wise foolish, and a bribe corrupts the heart. 8Better is the end of a thing than its beginning; the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit. 9Do not be quick to anger, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. 10Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.

11Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun. 12For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to the one who possesses it. 13Consider the work of God; who can make straight what he has made crooked? 14In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals may not find out anything that will come after them. 15In my vain life I have seen everything; there are righteous people who perish in their righteousness, and there are wicked people who prolong their life in their evil-doing. 16Do not be too righteous, and do not act too wise; why should you destroy yourself? 17Do not be too wicked, and do not be a fool; why should you die before your time? 18It is good that you should take hold of the one, without letting go of the other; for the one who fears God shall succeed with both. 19Wisdom gives strength to the wise more than ten rulers that are in a city. 20Surely there is no one on earth so righteous as to do good without ever sinning. 21Do not give heed to everything that people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you; 22your heart knows that many times you have yourself cursed others.

23All this I have tested by wisdom; I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me. 24That which is, is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out? 25I turned my mind to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the sum of things, and to know that wickedness is folly and that foolishness is madness. 26I found more bitter than death the woman who is a trap, whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are fetters; one who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her. 27See, this is what I found, says the Teacher, adding one thing to another to find the sum, 28which my mind has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found. 29See, this alone I found, that God made human beings straightforward, but they have devised many schemes.

8Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? Wisdom makes one’s face shine, and the hardness of one’s countenance is changed. 2Keep the king’s command because of your sacred oath. 3Do not be terrified; go from his presence, do not delay when the matter is unpleasant, for he does whatever he pleases. 4For the word of the king is powerful, and who can say to him, “What are you doing?” 5Whoever obeys a command will meet no harm, and the wise mind will know the time and way.

6For every matter has its time and way, although the troubles of mortals lie heavy upon them. 7Indeed, they do not know what is to be, for who can tell them how it will be? 8No one has power over the wind to restrain the wind, or power over the day of death; there is no discharge from the battle, nor does wickedness deliver those who practice it.

9All this I observed, applying my mind to all that is done under the sun, while one person exercises authority over another to the other’s hurt. 10Then I saw the wicked buried; they used to go in and out of the holy place, and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. 11Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the human heart is fully set to do evil. 12Though sinners do evil a hundred times and prolong their lives, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they stand in fear before him, 13but it will not be well with the wicked, neither will they prolong their days like a shadow, because they do not stand in fear before God.

14There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people who are treated according to the conduct of the wicked, and there are wicked people who are treated according to the conduct of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 15So I commend enjoyment, for there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat, and drink, and enjoy themselves, for this will go with them in their toil through the days of life that God gives them under the sun. 16When I applied my mind to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how one’s eyes see sleep neither day nor night, 17then I saw all the work of God, that no one can find out what is happening under the sun. However much they may toil in seeking, they will not find it out; even though those who are wise claim to know, they cannot find it out.

9All this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hate one does not know. Everything that confronts them 2is vanity, since the same fate comes to all, to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to those who sacrifice and those who do not sacrifice. As are the good, so are the sinners; those who swear are like those who shun an oath. 3This is an evil in all that happens under the sun, that the same fate comes to everyone. Moreover, the hearts of all are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

4But whoever is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no more reward, and even the memory of them is lost. 6Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished; never again will they have any share in all that happens under the sun. 7Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do. 8Let your garments always be white; do not let oil be lacking on your head. 9Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that are given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

11Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all. 12For no one can anticipate the time of disaster. Like fish taken in a cruel net, and like birds caught in a snare, so mortals are snared at a time of calamity, when it suddenly falls upon them.

13I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14There was a little city with few people in it. A great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. 15Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16So I said, “Wisdom is better than might; yet the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heeded.” 17The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one bungler destroys much good.

10Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a foul odor; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. 3Even when fools walk on the road, they lack sense, and show to everyone that they are fools.

4If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post, for calmness will undo great offenses. 5There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as great an error as if it proceeded from the ruler: 6folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. 7I have seen slaves on horseback, and princes walking on foot like slaves. 8Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a snake. 9Whoever quarries stones will be hurt by them; and whoever splits logs will be endangered by them.

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v 2.2.8
14 July 2018

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.8 14 July 2018.