King James 2000
The Value of Wisdom
1A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
2It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
3Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
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 for a man to hear the song of fools.
6For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
7Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a bribe destroys the heart.
8Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9Be not hasty in your spirit to be angry: for anger rests in the bosom of fools.
10Say you not, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for you do not inquire wisely concerning this.
11Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.
12For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellence of knowledge is, that wisdom gives life to them that have it.
13Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?
14In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also has set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing that will come after him.
15All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his wickedness.
16Be not overly righteous; neither make yourself overly wise: why should you destroy yourself?
17Be not overly wicked, neither be foolish: why should you die before your time?
18It is good that you should take hold of this; yea, also from this withhold not your hand: for he that fears God shall come forth of them all.
19Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten mighty men who are in the city.
20For there is not a just man upon earth, that does good, and sins not.
21Also take not to heart all words that are spoken; lest you hear your servant curse you:
22For oftentimes also your own heart knows that you yourself likewise have cursed others.
23All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.
24That which is far off, and exceedingly deep, who can find it out?
25I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:
26And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands are fetters: whosoever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.
27Behold, this have I found, says the preacher, adding one thing to another, to find out the reason:
28Which yet my soul seeks, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.
29Lo, this only have I found, that God has made man upright; but they have sought out many devices.