Ecclesiastes 7:16-26 (New International Version)

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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?1 18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God2 will avoid all [extremes].a 19 Wisdom3 makes one wise man more powerful4 than ten rulers in a city. 20 There is not a righteous man5 on earth who does what is right and never sins.6 21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you7 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"8-- but this was beyond me. 24 Whatever wisdom may be, it is far off and most profound-- who can discover it?9 25 So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things10 and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.11 26 I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare,12 whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.13
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