Ecclesiastes 7 – New International Version (NIV)
- A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.
- It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.
- Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.
- The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
- It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.
- Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.
- Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
- The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
- Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
- Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
- Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.
- Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.
- Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
- When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.
- In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
- Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise— why destroy yourself?
- Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool— why die before your time?
- It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.[a]
- Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city.
- Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.
- Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—
- for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.
- All this I tested by wisdom and I said, “I am determined to be wise”— but this was beyond me.
- Whatever exists is far off and most profound— who can discover it?
- So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.
- I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.
- “Look,” says the Teacher,[b] “this is what I have discovered: “Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things—
- while I was still searching but not finding— I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all.
- This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.”
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Ecclesiastes 7 – King James Version (KJV)
The Vanity of Fame
- A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
- It is 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 lay it to his heart.
- Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
- The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
- It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
- For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
- Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.
- Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
- Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
- Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.
- Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.
- For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
- Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?
- In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
- All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.
- Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
- Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?
- It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.
- Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.
- For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
- Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:
- for oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.
The Quest for Wisdom
- All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.
- That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?
- I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:
- and I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.
- Behold, this have I found, saith the Preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:
- which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.
- Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.