Ecclesiastes 9
New American Standard Bible►► 

People Are in the Hand of God

1For I have taken all this to my heart, even to [a]examine [b]it all, that righteous people, wise people, and their deeds are in the hand of God. People do not know whether it will be love or hatred; anything [c]awaits them.

2It is the same for all. There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and the unclean; for the person who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good person is, so is the sinner; the one who swears an oath is just as the one who [d]is afraid to swear an oath. 3This is an evil in everything that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for everyone. Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of mankind are full of evil, and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterward they go to the dead. 4For whoever is joined to all the living, there is hope; for better a live dog, than a dead lion. 5For the living know that they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have a reward any longer, for their memory is forgotten. 6Indeed their love, their hate, and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.

7Go then, eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. 8See that your clothes are white all the time, and that there is no lack of oil on your head. 9[e]Enjoy life with the wife whom you love all the days of your futile life which He has given you under the sun, [f]all the days of your futility; for this is your reward in life and in your work which you have labored under the sun.

Whatever Your Hand Finds to Do

10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.

11I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning, nor favor to the skillful; for time and chance overtake them all. 12For indeed, a person does not know his time: like fish that are caught in a treacherous net and birds caught in a snare, so the sons of mankind are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.

13This too I saw as wisdom under the sun, and [g]it impressed me: 14there was a small city with few men in it, and a great king came to it, surrounded it, and constructed large siegeworks against it. 15But there was found in it a poor wise man, and he [h]saved the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised, and his words are [i]ignored. 17The words of the wise heard in calm are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

[a] 1 Or explain
[b] 1 Lit all this
[c] 1 Lit is before them
[d] 2 Lit fears an oath
[e] 9 Lit See
[f] 9 all...your futility not found in some ancient versions
[g] 13 Lit it was great to me
[h] 15 Or might have saved
[i] 16 Lit not listened to

New American Standard Bible
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by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.
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