Ecclesiastes 7:1-14

Wisdom

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 a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.
3 Frustration 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 pleasure.
5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.
6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.
7 Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.
12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.
13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.

Images for Ecclesiastes 7:1-14

Ecclesiastes 7:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
ESV
1 A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.
NLT
1 A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
MSG
1 good reputation is better than a fat bank account. Your death date tells more than your birth date.
CSB
1 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of one's death than the day of one's birth.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 7

The wise man having exposed the many vanities to which men are subject in this life, and showed that there is no real happiness in all outward enjoyments under the sun; proceeds to observe what are remedies against them, of which he had interspersed some few hints before, as the fear and worship of God, and the free and, moderate use of the creatures; and here suggests more, and such as will protect from them, or support under them, or teach and instruct how to behave while attended with them, and to direct to what are proper and necessary in the pursuit of true and real happiness; such as care of a good name and reputation, Ec 7:1; frequent meditation on mortality, Ec 7:2-4; listening to the rebukes of the wise, which are preferable to the songs and mirth of fools, Ec 7:5,6; avoiding oppression and bribery, which are very pernicious, Ec 7:7; patience under provocations, and present bad times, as thought to be, Ec 7:8-10; a pursuit of that wisdom and knowledge which has life annexed to it, Ec 7:11,12; submission to the will of God, and contentment in every state, Ec 7:13,14; shunning extremes in righteousness and sin, the best antidote against which is the fear of God, Ec 7:15-18; such wisdom as not to be offended with everything that is done, or word that is spoken, considering the imperfection of the best of men, the weakness of others, and our own, Ec 7:19-22; and then the wise man acknowledges the imperfection of his own wisdom and knowledge, notwithstanding the pains he had taken, Ec 7:23-25; and laments his sin and folly in being drawn aside by women, Ec 7:26-28; and opens the cause of the depravity of human nature, removes it from God, who made man upright, and ascribes it to man, the inventor of evil things, Ec 7:29.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 In-Context

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 a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.
3 Frustration 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 pleasure.
5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.
6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.
7 Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.
12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.
13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.
15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise— why destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool— why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.

Cross References 19

  • 1. Proverbs 22:1; Song of Songs 1:3
  • 2. S Job 10:18
  • 3. S Proverbs 11:19
  • 4. Psalms 90:12; S Ecclesiastes 2:14
  • 5. S Proverbs 14:13
  • 6. S Ecclesiastes 2:1; Jeremiah 16:8
  • 7. Psalms 141:5; S Proverbs 13:18; Proverbs 15:31-32
  • 8. S Psalms 58:9; Psalms 118:12
  • 9. S Proverbs 14:13; Ecclesiastes 2:2
  • 10. S Exodus 18:21; S Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19
  • 11. Proverbs 14:29; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:2
  • 12. S Matthew 5:22; Proverbs 14:17; James 1:19
  • 13. S Proverbs 14:29
  • 14. S Psalms 77:5
  • 15. Proverbs 8:10-11; Ecclesiastes 2:13
  • 16. Ecclesiastes 11:7
  • 17. Ecclesiastes 2:24
  • 18. Ecclesiastes 1:15
  • 19. S Job 1:21; S Ecclesiastes 2:24
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