Ecclesiastes 7
International Standard VersionNew Living Translation
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 more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
2It's better to attend a funeral than to attend a banquet, for everyone dies eventually, and the living will take this to heart.2Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies— so 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, for sadness has a refining influence on us.
4For the wise person thinks carefully when in mourning, but fools focus their thoughts on pleasure.4A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.
5It is better to listen to a wise person's rebuke than to listen to the praise of fools.5Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool.
6For as thorns burn to heat a pot, so also is the laughter of the fool— even this is pointless.6A fool’s laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless.
7Unjust gain makes the wise foolish, and a bribe corrupts the heart.7Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart.
8The conclusion of something is better than its beginning, and a patient attitude is more valuable than a proud one. 8Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.
9Never be in a hurry to become internally angry, since anger settles down in the lap of fools.9Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.
10Never ask "Why does the past seem so much better than now?" because this question does not come from wisdom.10Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.
11Wise use of possessions is good; it brings benefit to the living. 11Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life.
12Indeed, wisdom gives protection, just like money does, but it's better to know that wisdom gives life, to those who have mastered it.12Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.
13Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent?13Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten 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.14Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life. The Limits of Human Wisdom
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. 15I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.
16Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise. Why be self-destructive?16So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself?
17Do not excel at wickedness, nor be a fool. Why die before your time?17On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why 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. 18Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes.
19Wisdom given as strength to a wise person is better than having ten powerful men in the city.19One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town!
20For there is not a single righteous man on earth who practices good and does not sin.20Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
21Don't listen to everything that is spoken— you may hear your servant cursing you,21Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you.
22since you also know how often you have cursed others.22For you know how often 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 always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” But it didn’t work.
24Whatever it is, it's far off and most profound. Who can attain it?24Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find.
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 searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness 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.26I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.
27"Look at this," says the Teacher. "Linking one thing to another, I reached this conclusion:27“This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle.
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.28Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman!
29I have discovered only this: God made human beings for righteousness, but they seek many alternatives."29But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”
The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Ecclesiastes 6
Top of Page
Top of Page