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Ecclesiastes 7 RSV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death, than the day of birth. 1 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting; for this is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to heart. 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 Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
5 It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. 5 It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.
6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity. 6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.
7 Surely oppression makes the wise man foolish, and a bribe corrupts the mind. 7 Extortion turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
9 Be not quick to anger, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. 9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10 Say not, "Why were the former days better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. 10 Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun. 11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.
12 For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money; and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. 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 Consider the work of God; who can make straight what he has made crooked? 13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. 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 In my vain life I have seen everything; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evil-doing. 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 Be not righteous overmuch, and do not make yourself overwise; why should you destroy yourself? 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself ?
17 Be not wicked overmuch, neither be a fool; why should you die before your time? 17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?
18 It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand; for he who fears God shall come forth from them all. 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 gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers that are in a city. 19 Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city.
20 Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. 20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.
21 Do not give heed to all the things that men say, lest you hear your servant cursing you; 21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you--
22 your heart knows that many times you have yourself cursed others. 22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23 All this I have tested by wisdom; I said, "I will be wise"; but it was far from me. 23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said, "I am determined to be wise"-- but this was beyond me.
24 That which is, is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out? 24 Whatever wisdom may be, it is far off and most profound-- who can discover it?
25 I turned my mind to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the sum of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness which is madness. 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 And I found more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters; he who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her. 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 Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, adding one thing to another to find the sum, 27 "Look," says the Teacher, "this is what I have discovered: "Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things--
28 which my mind has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found. 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 Behold, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many devices. 29 This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes."