Ecclesiastes 7
International Standard VersionNET 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 reputation is better than precious perfume; likewise, 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 funeral than a feast. For death is the destiny of every person, and the living should take this to heart.
3Sorrow is better than laughter, because the heart is made better through trouble.3Sorrow is better than laughter, because sober reflection is good for the heart.
4For the wise person thinks carefully when in mourning, but fools focus their thoughts on pleasure.4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of merrymaking.
5It is better to listen to a wise person's rebuke than to listen to the praise of fools.5It is better for a person to receive a rebuke from those who are wise 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 quick-burning thorns under a cooking pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This kind of folly also is useless.
7Unjust gain makes the wise foolish, and a bribe corrupts the heart.7Surely oppression can turn a wise person into a fool; likewise, a bribe corrupts the heart.
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; likewise, patience is better than pride.
9Never be in a hurry to become internally angry, since anger settles down in the lap of fools.9Do not let yourself be quickly provoked, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10Never ask "Why does the past seem so much better than now?" because this question does not come from wisdom.10Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these days?" for it is not wise to ask that.
11Wise use of possessions is good; it brings benefit to the living. 11Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing; it benefits those who see the light of day.
12Indeed, wisdom gives protection, just like money does, but it's better to know that wisdom gives life, to those who have mastered it.12For wisdom provides protection, just as money provides protection. But the advantage of knowledge is this: 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 make straight what he has bent?
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 times of prosperity be joyful, but in times of adversity consider this: God has made one as well as the other, so that no one can discover what the future holds.
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. 15During the days of my fleeting life I have seen both of these things: Sometimes a righteous person dies prematurely in spite of his righteousness, and sometimes a wicked person lives long in spite of his evil deeds.
16Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise. Why be self-destructive?16So do not be excessively righteous or excessively wise; otherwise you might be disappointed.
17Do not excel at wickedness, nor be a fool. Why die before your time?17Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool; otherwise you might 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 best to take hold of one warning without letting go of the other warning; for the one who fears God will follow both warnings.
19Wisdom given as strength to a wise person is better than having ten powerful men in the city.19Wisdom gives a wise person more protection than ten rulers in a city.
20For there is not a single righteous man on earth who practices good and does not sin.20For there is not one truly righteous person on the earth who continually does good and never sins.
21Don't listen to everything that is spoken— you may hear your servant cursing you,21Also, do not pay attention to everything that people say; otherwise, you might even hear your servant cursing you.
22since you also know how often you have cursed others.22For you know in your own heart that you also have cursed others many times.
23I used my wisdom to test all of this. I said, "I want to be wise," but it was beyond me.23I have examined all this by wisdom; I said, "I am determined to comprehend this"--but it was beyond my grasp.
24Whatever it is, it's far off and most profound. Who can attain it?24Whatever has happened is beyond human understanding; it is far deeper than anyone can fathom.
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 tried to understand, examine, and comprehend the role of wisdom in the scheme of things, and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the insanity of folly.
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.26I discovered this: More bitter than death is the kind of woman who is like a hunter's snare; her heart is like a hunter's net and her hands are like prison chains. The man who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is captured by her.
27"Look at this," says the Teacher. "Linking one thing to another, I reached this conclusion:27The Teacher says: I discovered this while trying to discover the scheme of things, item by item.
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.28What I have continually sought, I have not found; I have found only one upright man among a thousand, but I have not found one upright woman among all of them.
29I have discovered only this: God made human beings for righteousness, but they seek many alternatives."29This alone have I discovered: God made humankind upright, but they have sought many evil schemes.
The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
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Ecclesiastes 6
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