Ecclesiastes 7
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The Value of Wisdom

1A good name is better than precious ointments, and a day of death is better than a day of birth.

2It is better to go to a house of mourning, than to a house of feasting. For in the former, we are admonished about the end of all things, so that the living consider what may be in the future.

3Anger is better than laughter. For through the sadness of the countenance, the soul of one who offends may be corrected.

4The heart of the wise is a place of mourning, and the heart of the foolish is a place of rejoicing.

5It is better to be corrected by a wise man, than to be deceived by the false praise of the foolish.

6For, like the crackling of thorns burning under a pot, so is the laughter of the foolish. But this, too, is emptiness.

7A false accusation troubles the wise man and saps the strength of his heart.

8The end of a speech is better than the beginning. Patience is better than arrogance.

9Do not be quickly moved to anger. For anger resides in the sinews of the foolish.

10You should not say: “What do you think is the reason that the former times were better than they are now?” For this type of question is foolish.

11Wisdom with riches is more useful and more advantageous, for those who see the sun.

12For as wisdom protects, so also does money protect. But learning and wisdom have this much more: that they grant life to one who possesses them.

13Consider the works of God, that no one is able to correct whomever he has despised.

14In good times, enjoy good things, but beware of an evil time. For just as God has establish the one, so also the other, in order that man may not find any just complaint against him.

The Limits of Human Wisdom

15I also saw this, in the days of my vanity: a just man perishing in his justice, and an impious man living a long time in his malice. 16Do not try to be overly just, and do not try to be more wise than is necessary, lest you become stupid. 17Do not act with great impiety, and do not choose to be foolish, lest you die before your time. 18It is good for you to support a just man. Furthermore, you should not withdraw your hand from him, for whoever fears God, neglects nothing.

19Wisdom has strengthened the wise more than ten princes of a city. 20But there is no just man on earth, who does good and does not sin. 21So then, do not attach your heart to every word that is spoken, lest perhaps you may hear your servant speaking ill of you. 22For your conscience knows that you, too, have repeatedly spoken evil of others.

23I have tested everything in wisdom. I have said: “I will be wise.” And wisdom withdrew farther from me, 24so much more than it was before. Wisdom is very profound, so who shall reveal her? 25I have examined all things in my soul, so that I may know, and consider, and seek out wisdom and reason, and so that I may recognize the impiety of the foolish, and the error of the imprudent. 26And I have discovered a woman more bitter than death: she who is like the snare of a hunter, and whose heart is like a net, and whose hands are like chains. Whoever pleases God shall flee from her. But whoever is a sinner shall be seized by her.

27Behold, Ecclesiastes said, I have discovered these things, one after another, in order that I might discover the explanation 28which my soul still seeks and has not found. One man among a thousand, I have found; a woman among them all, I have not found. 29This alone have I discovered: that God made man righteous, and yet he has adulterated himself with innumerable questions. Who is so great as the wise? And who has understood the meaning of the word?

Catholic Public Domain Version

Section Headings Courtesy Berean Bible

Ecclesiastes 6
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