Ecclesiastes 7
International Standard VersionChristian Standard Bible
1A good name exceeds the value of fine perfume, and the day of someone's death exceeds the value of the day of his birth.1A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth.
2It's better to attend a funeral than to attend a banquet, for everyone dies eventually, and the living will take this to heart.2It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, since that is the end of all mankind, and the living should take it to heart.
3Sorrow is better than laughter, because the heart is made better through trouble.3Grief is better than laughter, for when a face is sad, a heart may be glad.
4For the wise person thinks carefully when in mourning, but fools focus their thoughts on pleasure.4The heart of the wise is in a house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in a house of pleasure.
5It is better to listen to a wise person's rebuke than to listen to the praise of fools.5It is better to listen to rebuke from a wise person than to listen to the song of fools,
6For as thorns burn to heat a pot, so also is the laughter of the fool— even this is pointless.6for like the crackling of burning thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This too is futile.
7Unjust gain makes the wise foolish, and a bribe corrupts the heart.7Surely, the practice of extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the mind.
8The conclusion of something is better than its beginning, and a patient attitude is more valuable than a proud one. 8The end of a matter is better than its beginning; a patient spirit is better than a proud spirit.
9Never be in a hurry to become internally angry, since anger settles down in the lap of fools.9Don't let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools.
10Never ask "Why does the past seem so much better than now?" because this question does not come from wisdom.10Don't say, "Why were the former days better than these?" since it is not wise of you to ask this.
11Wise use of possessions is good; it brings benefit to the living. 11Wisdom is as good as an inheritance and an advantage to those who see the sun,
12Indeed, wisdom gives protection, just like money does, but it's better to know that wisdom gives life, to those who have mastered it.12because wisdom is protection as silver is protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner.
13Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent?13Consider the work of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked?
14When times are good, be joyful; when times are bad, consider this: God made the one as well as the other, so people won't seek anything outside of his best.14In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that no one can discover anything that will come after him.
15I have seen it all during my pointless life: both a righteous person who dies while he is righteous, and a wicked person who lives to an old age, while remaining wicked. 15In my futile life I have seen everything: someone righteous perishes in spite of his righteousness, and someone wicked lives long in spite of his evil.
16Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise. Why be self-destructive?16Don't be excessively righteous, and don't be overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?
17Do not excel at wickedness, nor be a fool. Why die before your time?17Don't be excessively wicked, and don't be foolish. Why should you die before your time?
18It is good for you to grab hold of this and not let go, because whoever fears God will escape all of these extremes. 18It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who fears God will end up with both of them.
19Wisdom given as strength to a wise person is better than having ten powerful men in the city.19Wisdom makes the wise person stronger than ten rulers of a city.
20For there is not a single righteous man on earth who practices good and does not sin.20There is certainly no one righteous on the earth who does good and never sins.
21Don't listen to everything that is spoken— you may hear your servant cursing you,21Don't pay attention to everything people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you,
22since you also know how often you have cursed others.22for in your heart you know that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23I used my wisdom to test all of this. I said, "I want to be wise," but it was beyond me.23I have tested all this by wisdom. I resolved, "I will be wise," but it was beyond me.
24Whatever it is, it's far off and most profound. Who can attain it?24What exists is beyond reach and very deep. Who can discover it?
25I committed myself to understand, to learn, to search for wisdom and explanations, and to understand both the evil that is foolishness and the stupidity that is delusion.25I turned my thoughts to know, explore, and examine wisdom and an explanation for things, and to know that wickedness is stupidity and folly is madness.
26I discovered for myself a bitterness that surpasses that of death: the woman whose heart is full of snares and nets, whose hands are chains of bondage. Whoever pleases God will escape from her, but the transgressor will be trapped by her.26And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a trap:her heart a net and her hands chains. The one who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be captured by her.
27"Look at this," says the Teacher. "Linking one thing to another, I reached this conclusion:27"Look," says the Teacher, "I have discovered this by adding one thing to another to find out the explanation,
28Among the things I seek but have not found: one man among a thousand I did find, but I have not found one woman to be wise among all these.28which my soul continually searches for but does not find: I found one person in a thousand, but none of those was a woman.
29I have discovered only this: God made human beings for righteousness, but they seek many alternatives."29Only see this: I have discovered that God made people upright, but they pursued many schemes."
The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission.
Ecclesiastes 6
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