Ecclesiastes 9:1-12 (New International Version)

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A Common Destiny for All

1 So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God's hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him.1 2 All share a common destiny--the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad,a the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good man, so with the sinner; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them.2 3 This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all.3 The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live,4 and afterward they join the dead.5 4 Anyone who is among the living has hopeb--even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing;6 they have no further reward, and even the memory of them7 is forgotten.8 6 Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.9 7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine10 with a joyful heart,11 for it is now that God favors what you do. 8 Always be clothed in white,12 and always anoint your head with oil. 9 Enjoy life with your wife,13 whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun--all your meaningless days. For this is your lot14 in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever15 your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,16 for in the grave,c17 where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.18 11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,19 nor does food come to the wise20 or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance21 happen to them all.22 12 Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times23 that fall unexpectedly upon them.24
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