Ecclesiastes 9; Ecclesiastes 10; Ecclesiastes 11; Ecclesiastes 12

1 Indeed, I took all this to heart and explained it all: the righteous, the wise, and their works are in God's hands. People don't know whether [to expect] love or hate. Everything lies ahead of them. 2 Everything is the same for everyone: there is one fate for the righteous and the wicked, for the good and the bad, for the clean and the unclean, for the one who sacrifices and the one who does not sacrifice. As it is for the good, so it is for the sinner, as for the one who takes an oath, so for the one who fears an oath. 3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: there is one fate for everyone. In addition, the hearts of people are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live-after that they go to the dead. 4 But there is hope for whoever is joined with all the living, since a live dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead don't know anything. There is no longer a reward for them because the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Their love, their hate, and their envy have already disappeared, and there is no longer a portion for them in all that is done under the sun. 7 Go, eat your bread with pleasure, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart, for God has already accepted your works. 8 Let your clothes be white all the time, and never let oil be lacking on your head. 9 Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life, which has been given to you under the sun, all your fleeting days. For that is your portion in life and in your struggle under the sun. 10 Whatever your hands find to do, do with [all] your strength, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in Sheol where you are going. 11 Again I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, or bread to the wise, or riches to the discerning, or favor to the skillful; rather, time and chance happen to all of them. 12 For man certainly does not know his time: like fish caught in a cruel net, or like birds caught in a trap, so people are trapped in an evil time, as it suddenly falls on them. 13 I have observed that this also is wisdom under the sun, and it is significant to me: 14 There was a small city with few men in it. A great king came against it, surrounded it, and built large siege works against it. 15 Now a poor wise man was found in the city, and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16 And I said, "Wisdom is better than strength, but the wisdom of the poor man is despised, and his words are not heeded." 17 The calm words of the wise are heeded more than the shouts of a ruler over fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much good.
1 Dead flies make a perfumer's oil ferment and stink; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man's heart [goes] to the right, but a fool's heart to the left. 3 Even when the fool walks along the road, his heart lacks sense, and he shows everyone he is a fool. 4 If the ruler's anger rises against you, don't leave your place, for calmness puts great offenses to rest. 5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, an error proceeding from the presence of the ruler: 6 The fool is appointed to great heights, but the rich remain in lowly positions. 7 I have seen slaves on horses, but princes walking on the ground like slaves. 8 The one who digs a pit may fall into it, and the one who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. 9 The one who quarries stones may be hurt by them; the one who splits trees may be endangered by them. 10 If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge, then one must exert more strength; however, the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success. 11 If the snake bites before it is charmed, then there is no advantage for the charmer. 12 The words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, but the lips of a fool consume him. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is folly, but the end of his speaking is evil madness. 14 Yet the fool multiplies words. No one knows what will happen, and who can tell anyone what will happen after him? 15 The struggles of fools weary them, for they don't know how to go to the city. 16 Woe to you, land, when your king is a household servant, and your princes feast in the morning. 17 Blessed are you, land, when your king is a son of nobles and your princes feast at the proper time- for strength and not for drunkenness. 18 Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of negligent hands the house leaks. 19 A feast is prepared for laughter, and wine makes life happy, and money is the answer for everything. 20 Do not curse the king even in your thoughts, and do not curse a rich person even in your bedroom, for a bird of the sky may carry the message, and a winged creature may report the matter.
1 Send your bread on the surface of the waters, for after many days you may find it. 2 Give a portion to seven or even to eight, for you don't know what disaster may happen on earth. 3 If the clouds are full, they will pour out rain on the earth; whether a tree falls to the south or the north, the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. 4 One who watches the wind will not sow, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap. 5 Just as you don't know the path of the wind, or how bones [develop] in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you don't know the work of God who makes everything. 6 In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don't know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good. 7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasing for the eyes to see the sun. 8 For if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, since they will be many. All that comes is futile. 9 Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. And walk in the ways of your heart and in the sights of your eyes; but know that for all of these things God will bring you to judgment. 10 Remove sorrow from your heart, and put away pain from your flesh, because youth and the prime of life are fleeting.
1 So remember your Creator in the days of your youth: Before the days of adversity come, and the years approach when you will say, "I have no delight in them"; 2 before the sun and the light are darkened, and the moon and the stars, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 on the day when the guardians of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, the women who grind cease because they are few, and the ones who watch through the windows see dimly, 4 and the doors at the street are shut while the sound of the mill fades; when one rises at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song grow faint. 5 Also, they are afraid of heights and dangers on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper loses its spring, and the caper berry has no effect; for man is headed to his eternal home, and mourners will walk around in the street; 6 before the silver cord is snapped, and the golden bowl is broken, and the jar is shattered at the spring, and the wheel is broken into the well; 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 8 "Absolute futility," says the Teacher. "Everything is futile." 9 In addition to the Teacher being a wise man, he constantly taught the people knowledge; he weighed, explored, and arranged many proverbs. 10 The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. 11 The sayings of the wise are like goads, and those from masters of collections are like firmly embedded nails. The sayings are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond these, my son, be warned: there is no end to the making of many books, and much study wearies the body. 13 When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is: fear God and keep His commands, because this [is for] all humanity. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.
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