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Ecclesiastes 7:6-16 (New International Version)

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6 Like the crackling of thorns1 under the pot, so is the laughter2 of fools. This too is meaningless. 7 Extortion turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe3 corrupts the heart. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience4 is better than pride. 9 Do not be quickly provoked5 in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.6 10 Do not say, "Why were the old days7 better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions. 11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing8 and benefits those who see the sun.9 12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor. 13 Consider what God has done:10 Who can straighten what he has made crooked?11 14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.12 Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. 15 In this meaningless life13 of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.14 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself ?
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