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
References for Ecclesiastes 7:15
Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself ?
Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?3
References for Ecclesiastes 7:17
It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God4 will avoid all [extremes].
References for Ecclesiastes 7:18
Wisdom5 makes one wise man more powerful6 than ten rulers in a city.
References for Ecclesiastes 7:19
There is not a righteous man7 on earth who does what is right and never sins.8
References for Ecclesiastes 7:20
Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you9 may hear your servant cursing you--
References for Ecclesiastes 7:21
for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.
All this I tested by wisdom and I said, "I am determined to be wise"10-- but this was beyond me.
References for Ecclesiastes 7:23
Whatever wisdom may be, it is far off and most profound-- who can discover it?11
References for Ecclesiastes 7:24
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
References for Ecclesiastes 7:25