Young's Literal Translation
The Value of Wisdom
1Better [is] a name than good perfume, And the day of death than the day of birth.
2Better to go unto a house of mourning, Than to go unto a house of banqueting, For that is the end of all men, And the living layeth [it] unto his heart.
3Better [is] sorrow than laughter, For by the sadness of the face the heart becometh better.
4The heart of the wise [is] in a house of mourning, And the heart of fools in a house of mirth.
5Better to hear a rebuke of a wise man, Than [for] a man to hear a song of fools,
6For as the noise of thorns under the pot, So [is] the laughter of a fool, even this [is] vanity.
7Surely oppression maketh the wise mad, And a gift destroyeth the heart.
8Better [is] the latter end of a thing than its beginning, Better [is] the patient of spirit, than the haughty of spirit.
9Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry, For anger in the bosom of fools resteth.
10Say not thou, ‘What was it, That the former days were better than these?’ For thou hast not asked wisely of this.
11Wisdom [is] good with an inheritance, And an advantage [it is] to those beholding the sun.
12For wisdom [is] a defense, money [is] a defence, And the advantage of the knowledge of wisdom [is], She reviveth her possessors.
13See the work of God, For who is able to make straight that which He made crooked?
14In a day of prosperity be in gladness, And in a day of evil consider. Also this over-against that hath God made, To the intent that man doth not find anything after him.
Limits of Human Wisdom
15The whole I have considered in the days of my vanity. There is a righteous one perishing in his righteousness, and there is a wrong-doer prolonging [himself] in his wrong. 16Be not over-righteous, nor show thyself too wise, why art thou desolate? 17Do not much wrong, neither be thou a fool, why dost thou die within thy time? 18[It is] good that thou dost lay hold on this, and also, from that withdrawest not thy hand, for whoso is fearing God goeth out with them all.
19The wisdom giveth strength to a wise man, more than wealth the rulers who have been in a city. 20Because there is not a righteous man on earth that doth good and sinneth not. 21Also to all the words that they speak give not thy heart, that thou hear not thy servant reviling thee. 22For many times also hath thy heart known that thou thyself also hast reviled others.
23All this I have tried by wisdom; I have said, ‘I am wise,’ and it [is] far from me. 24Far off [is] that which hath been, and deep, deep, who doth find it? 25I have turned round, also my heart, to know and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and reason, and to know the wrong of folly, and of foolishness the madness. 26And I am finding more bitter than death, the woman whose heart [is] nets and snares, her hands [are] bands; the good before God escapeth from her, but the sinner is captured by her.
27See, this I have found, said the Preacher, one to one, to find out the reason 28(that still my soul had sought, and I had not found), One man, a teacher, I have found, and a woman among all these I have not found. 29See, this alone I have found, that God made man upright, and they — they have sought out many devices.