I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,1 nor does food come to the wise2 or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance3 happen to them all.4
References for Ecclesiastes 9:11
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 times5 that fall unexpectedly upon them.6
References for Ecclesiastes 9:12
I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom7 that greatly impressed me:
References for Ecclesiastes 9:13
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.8
References for Ecclesiastes 9:15
So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." But the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.9
References for Ecclesiastes 9:16
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
Wisdom10 is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
References for Ecclesiastes 9:18