Bible: Eccl 7:1-14

Life is Brief and Death is Certain!

7:1 A good reputation 1  is better 2  than precious 3  perfume; 4 

likewise, 5  the day of one’s 6  death 7  is better than the day of one’s birth. 8 

7:2 It is better to go to a funeral 9 

than a feast. 10 

For death 11  is the destiny 12  of every person, 13 

and the living should 14  take this 15  to heart.

7:3 Sorrow 16  is better than laughter,

because sober reflection 17  is good for the heart. 18 

7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,

but the heart of fools is in the house of merrymaking. 19 

Frivolous Living Versus Wisdom

7:5 It is better for a person to receive 20  a rebuke from those who are wise 21 

than to listen to the song 22  of fools.

7:6 For like the crackling of quick-burning thorns 23  under a cooking pot,

so is the laughter of the fool.

This kind of folly 24  also is useless. 25 

Human Wisdom Overturned by Adversity

7:7 Surely oppression 26  can turn a wise person into a fool; 27 

likewise, 28  a bribe corrupts 29  the heart. 30 

7:8 The end of a matter 31  is better than its beginning;

likewise, patience 32  is better than pride. 33 

7:9 Do not let yourself be quickly provoked, 34 

for anger resides in the lap 35  of fools.

7:10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these days?” 36 

for it is not wise to ask that. 37 

Wisdom Can Lengthen One’s Life

7:11 Wisdom, like 38  an inheritance, is a good thing;

it benefits those who see the light of day. 39 

7:12 For wisdom provides 40  protection, 41 

just as 42  money provides protection. 43 

But the advantage of knowledge is this:

Wisdom preserves the life 44  of its owner.

Wisdom Acknowledges God’s Orchestration of Life

7:13 Consider the work of God:

For who can make straight what he has bent?

7:14 In times of prosperity 45  be joyful,

but in times of adversity 46  consider this:

God has made one as well as the other, 47 

so that no one can discover what the future holds. 48 

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