Ecclesiastes 7 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 good reputation is better than a fat bank account. Your death date tells more than your birth date. 1 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.
2 You learn more at a funeral than at a feast - After all, that's where we'll end up. We might discover something from it. 2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.
3 Crying is better than laughing. It blotches the face but it scours the heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 Sages invest themselves in hurt and grieving. Fools waste their lives in fun and games. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
5 You'll get more from the rebuke of a sage Than from the song and dance of fools. 5 It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.
6 The giggles of fools are like the crackling of twigs Under the cooking pot. And like smoke. 6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.
7 Brutality stupefies even the wise And destroys the strongest heart. 7 Extortion turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 Endings are better than beginnings. Sticking to it is better than standing out. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
9 Don't be quick to fly off the handle. Anger boomerangs. You can spot a fool by the lumps on his head. 9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10 Don't always be asking, "Where are the good old days?" Wise folks don't ask questions like that. 10 Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions.
11 Wisdom is better when it's paired with money, Especially if you get both while you're still living. 11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.
12 Double protection: wisdom and wealth! Plus this bonus: Wisdom energizes its owner. 12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.
13 Take a good look at God's work. Who could simplify and reduce Creation's curves and angles To a plain straight line? 13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won't take anything for granted. Stay in Touch with Both Sides 14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.
15 I've seen it all in my brief and pointless life - here a good person cut down in the middle of doing good, there a bad person living a long life of sheer evil. 15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.
16 So don't knock yourself out being good, and don't go overboard being wise. Believe me, you won't get anything out of it. 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself ?
17 But don't press your luck by being bad, either. And don't be reckless. Why die needlessly? 17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?
18 It's best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it. 18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all [extremes].
19 Wisdom puts more strength in one wise person Than ten strong men give to a city. 19 Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city.
20 There's not one totally good person on earth, Not one who is truly pure and sinless. 20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.
21 Don't eavesdrop on the conversation of others. What if the gossip's about you and you'd rather not hear it? 21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you--
22 You've done that a few times, haven't you - said things Behind someone's back you wouldn't say to his face? 22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23 I tested everything in my search for wisdom. I set out to be wise, but it was beyond me, 23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said, "I am determined to be wise"-- but this was beyond me.
24 far beyond me, and deep - oh so deep! Does anyone ever find it? 24 Whatever wisdom may be, it is far off and most profound-- who can discover it?
25 I concentrated with all my might, studying and exploring and seeking wisdom - the meaning of life. I also wanted to identify evil and stupidity, foolishness and craziness. 25 So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.
26 One discovery: A woman can be a bitter pill to swallow, full of seductive scheming and grasping. The lucky escape her; the undiscerning get caught. 26 I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.
27 At least this is my experience - what I, the Quester, have pieced together as I've tried to make sense of life. 27 "Look," says the Teacher, "this is what I have discovered: "Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things--
28 But the wisdom I've looked for I haven't found. I didn't find one man or woman in a thousand worth my while. 28 while I was still searching but not finding-- I found one [upright] man among a thousand, but not one [upright] woman among them all.
29 Yet I did spot one ray of light in this murk: God made men and women true and upright; we're the ones who've made a mess of things. 29 This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes."