Ecclesiastes 9:11-18 (New Living Translation)

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11 I have observed something else in this world of ours. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise are often poor, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being at the right place at the right time. 12 People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are often caught by sudden tragedy. 13 Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works. 14 There was a small town with only a few people living in it, and a great king came with his army and besieged it. 15 There was a poor, wise man living there who knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought any more about him. 16 Then I realized that though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long. 17 But even so, the quiet words of a wise person are better than the shouts of a foolish king. 18 A wise person can overcome weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good.
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