But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, 1how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are 2in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him.
3It is the same for all, since 4the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who 5swears is as he who shuns an oath.
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that 6the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and 7madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
For the living know that they will die, but 8the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for 9the memory of them is forgotten.
Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.
Go, 10eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.
11Let your garments be always white. Let not 12oil be lacking on your head.
Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your 13vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your 14portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.
Whatever your hand finds to do, 15do it with your might,16for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
17Again I saw that under the sun 18the race is not to the swift, nor 19the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and 20chance 21happen to them all.
For man 22does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and 23like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are 24snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me.
There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it.
But there was found in it 25a poor, wise man, and he by his 26wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man.
But I say that 27wisdom is better than might, though 28the poor man's wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.
The words of the wise heard in 29quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.
30Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but 31one sinner destroys much good.