Whatever1 your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,2 for in the grave,a3 where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.411
I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,5 nor does food come to the wise6 or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance7 happen to them all.812
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 times9 that fall unexpectedly upon them.10
I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom11 that greatly impressed me:
There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siegeworks against it.
Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man.1216
So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." But the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.1317
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
Wisdom14 is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.