Ecclesiastes 7
Legacy Standard Bible►► 

Wisdom and Folly Contrasted

1Better is a good name than good oil,

And better is the day of one’s death than the day of one’s birth.

2Better to go to a house of mourning

Than to go to a house of feasting

Because [†]that is the end of all mankind,

And the living puts this in his heart.

3Better is vexation than laughter,

For when a face is sad a heart may be merry.

4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,

While the heart of fools is in the house of gladness.

5Better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man

Than for one to listen to the song of fools.

6For as the crackling sound of thorn bushes under a pot,

So is the laughter of the fool;

And this too is vanity.

7For oppression gives a wise man over to madness,

And a bribe [†]destroys the heart.

8Better is the end of a matter than its beginning;

Better is patience of spirit than haughtiness of spirit.

9Do not be [†]eager in your spirit to be vexed,

For vexation rests in the bosom of fools.

10Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”

For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.

11Wisdom along with an inheritance is good

And an advantage to those who see the sun.

12For wisdom is a shadow of protection as money is a shadow of protection,

And the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its masters.

13See the work of God,

For who is able to straighten what He has bent?

14In the day when there is good be of good cheer,

But in the day when there is evil see—

God has made the one as well as the other

So that man will not find out anything that will be after him.

15I have seen everything during my days of vanity; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing. 16Do not be excessively righteous, and do not be overly wise. Why should you make yourself desolate? 17Do not be excessively wicked, and do not be a simpleminded fool. Why should you die before your time? 18It is good that you seize one thing and also not [†]let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with [†]both of them.

19Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten men with power who are in a city. 20Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21Also, do not give your heart to all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your slave cursing you. 22For your heart also knows that you likewise have many times cursed others.

23I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me. 24What has been is far away and exceedingly deep. Who can find it? 25I turned my heart to know, to explore, and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the wickedness of foolishness and the simpleminded folly of madness. 26And I found more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is good before God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

27“See, I have found this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28which my soul still seeks but has not found. I have found one man out of a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these. 29See, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

2 Death
7 Lit perishes
9 Lit hasty in your spirit
18 Lit rest your hand
18 Lit all

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Ecclesiastes 6
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