Ecclesiastes 7 (New American Standard)

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Wisdom and Folly Contrasted

1 A 1good name is better than a good ointment, And the 2day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth. 2 It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because athat is the 3end of every man, And the living b4takes it to cheart. 3 5Sorrow is better than laughter, For 6when a face is sad a heart may be happy. 4 The dmind of the wise is in the house of mourning, While the emind of fools is in the house of pleasure. 5 It is better to 7listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools. 6 For as the fcrackling of 8thorn bushes under a pot, So is the 9laughter of the fool; And this too is futility. 7 For 10oppression makes a wise man mad, And a 11bribe gcorrupts the heart. 8 The 12end of a matter is better than its beginning; 13Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. 9 Do not be h14eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. 10 Do not say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. 11 Wisdom along with an inheritance is good And an 15advantage to those who see the sun. 12 For 16wisdom is iprotection just as money is jprotection, But the advantage of knowledge is that 17wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors. 13 Consider the 18work of God, For who is 19able to straighten what He has bent? 14 20In the day of prosperity be happy, But 21in the day of adversity consider - God has made the one as well as the other So that man will 22not discover anything that will be after him. 15 I have seen everything during my k23lifetime of futility; there is 24a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is 25a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16 Do not be excessively 26righteous and do not 27be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you 28die before your time? 18 It is good that you grasp one thing and also not llet go of the other; for the one who 29fears God comes forth with mboth of them. 19 30Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Indeed, 31there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21 Also, do not ntake seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant 32cursing you. 22 For oyou also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others. 23 I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, "I will be wise," 33but it was far from me. 24 What has been is remote and 34exceedingly pmysterious. 35Who can discover it? 25 I q36directed my rmind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more 37bitter than death the woman whose heart is 38snares and nets, whose hands are chains. 39One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but 40the sinner will be captured by her. 27 "Behold, I have discovered this," says the Preacher, "adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 which sI am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a 41woman among all these. 29 "Behold, I have found only this, that 42God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."
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