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Ecclesiastes 9:11-18 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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New Living Translation (NLT) New International Version (NIV)
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. 11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
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. 12 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 times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
13 Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works. 13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me:
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. 14 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.
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. 15 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.
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. 16 So I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." But the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.
17 But even so, the quiet words of a wise person are better than the shouts of a foolish king. 17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
18 A wise person can overcome weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.