Ecclesiastes 7
New International VersionEnglish Standard Version
1A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.1A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.
2It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.2It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.
3Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.3Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face 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 pleasure.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 heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.5It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.
6Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.6For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity.
7Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.7Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.8Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.9Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
10Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions.10Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
11Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.11Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun.
12Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.12For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
13Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?13Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?
14When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.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 man may not find out anything that will be after him.
15In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness.15In my vain life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.
16Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself?16Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?
17Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?17Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?
18It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.18It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.
19Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city.19Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.
20Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.20Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
21Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you--21Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.
22for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.22Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23All this I tested by wisdom and I said, "I am determined to be wise"-- but this was beyond me.23All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.
24Whatever exists is far off and most profound-- who can discover it?24That which has been is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out?
25So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.25I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness.
26I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.26And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her.
27"Look," says the Teacher, "this is what I have discovered: "Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things--27Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things—
28while I was still searching but not finding-- I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all.28which my soul 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.
29This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes."29See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.
New International Version (NIV)

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Ecclesiastes 6
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