Ecclesiastes - Chapter 7

Ecclesiastes - Chapter 7

Rules of Life

1 A good name [is] better than precious ointment, And the day of death than the day of one's birth;

2 Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that [is] the end of all men; And the living will take [it] to heart.

3 Sorrow [is] better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.

4 The heart of the wise [is] in the house of mourning, But the heart of fools [is] in the house of mirth.

5 [It is] better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.

6 For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, So [is] the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.

7 Surely oppression destroys a wise [man's] reason, And a bribe debases the heart.

8 The end of a thing [is] better than its beginning; The patient in spirit [is] better than the proud in spirit.

9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

10 Do not say, "Why were the former days better than these?" For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.

11 Wisdom [is] good with an inheritance, And profitable to those who see the sun.

12 For wisdom [is] a defense [as] money [is] a defense, But the excellence of knowledge [is that] wisdom gives life to those who have it.

13 Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked?

14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adpity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, So that man can find out nothing [that will come] after him.

The Golden Mean

15 I have seen everything in my days of vanity: There is a just [man] who perishes in his righteousness, And there is a wicked [man] who prolongs [life] in his wickedness.

16 Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?

17 Do not be overly wicked, Nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time?

18 [It is] good that you grasp this, And also not remove your hand from the other; For he who fears God will escape them all.

The Cost of Wisdom

19 Wisdom strengthens the wise More than ten rulers of the city.

20 For [there is] not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin.

21 Also do not take to heart everything people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you.

22 For many times, also, your own heart has known That even you have cursed others.

Human Wisdom is Limited

23 All this I have proved by wisdom. I said, "I will be wise"; But it [was] far from me.

24 As for that which is far off and exceedingly deep, Who can find it out?

25 I applied my heart to know, To search and seek out wisdom and the reason [of things,] To know the wickedness of folly, Even of foolishness [and] madness.

Corrupt Woman

26 And I find more bitter than death The woman whose heart [is] snares and nets, Whose hands [are] fetters. He who pleases God shall escape from her, But the sinner shall be trapped by her.

27 " Here is what I have found," says the Preacher, "[Adding] one thing to the other to find out the reason,

28 Which my soul still seeks but I cannot find: One man among a thousand I have found, But a woman among all these I have not found.

29 Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes."