Ecclesiastes 7:15-25 (New International Version)

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15 In this meaningless life1 of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.2 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself ? 17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?3 18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God4 will avoid all [extremes].a 19 Wisdom5 makes one wise man more powerful6 than ten rulers in a city. 20 There is not a righteous man7 on earth who does what is right and never sins.8 21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you9 may hear your servant cursing you-- 22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others. 23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said, "I am determined to be wise"10-- but this was beyond me. 24 Whatever wisdom may be, it is far off and most profound-- who can discover it?11 25 So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things12 and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.13
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