Ecclesiastes 9:1-17 NIV

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

References for Ecclesiastes 9:1

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

References for Ecclesiastes 9:2

    • a 9:2 - Septuagint (Aquila), Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew does not have "and the bad."
      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

      References for Ecclesiastes 9:3

      4 Anyone who is among the living has hopeb--even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

      References for Ecclesiastes 9:4

        • b 9:4 - Or "What then is to be chosen? With all who live, there is hope"
          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

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:5

          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

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:6

          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.

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:7

          8 Always be clothed in white,12 and always anoint your head with oil.

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:8

          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.

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:9

          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

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:10

          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

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:11

          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

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:12

          Wisdom Better Than Folly

          13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom25 that greatly impressed me:

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:13

          14 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.
          15 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.26

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:15

          16 So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." But the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.27

          References for Ecclesiastes 9:16

          17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.