Bible: Ecclesiastes 7-11
Life is Brief and Death is Certain!
7:2 It is better to go to a funeral 9
than a feast. 10
7:3 Sorrow 16 is better than laughter,
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
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.
Human Wisdom Overturned by Adversity
7:8 The end of a matter 31 is better than its beginning;
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
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
Exceptions to the Law of Retribution
7:17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool;
otherwise 61 you might die before your time.
Wisdom Needed Because No One is Truly Righteous
7:19 Wisdom gives a wise person more protection 66
than ten rulers in a city.
who continually does good and never sins.
7:21 Also, do not pay attention to everything that people 69 say;
7:22 For you know in your own heart 72
that you also have cursed others many times.
Human Wisdom is Limited
7:23 I have examined all this by wisdom;
it is far deeper than anyone can fathom. 78
True Righteousness and Wisdom are Virtually Nonexistent
7:26 I discovered this: 85
her heart is like a hunter’s net and her hands are like prison chains.
The man who pleases God escapes her,
but the sinner is captured by her.
7:27 The Teacher says:
I discovered this while trying to discover the scheme of things, item by item.
7:28 What I have continually sought, I have not found;
but I have not found one upright woman among all of them.
7:29 This alone have I discovered: God made humankind upright,
but they have sought many evil schemes.
Human Government Demonstrates Limitations of Wisdom
8:2 Obey the king’s command, 98
8:3 Do not rush out of the king’s presence in haste – do not delay when the matter is unpleasant, 102
for he can do whatever he pleases.
no one can say 105 to him, “What are you doing?”
8:5 Whoever obeys his 106 command will not experience harm,
8:6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,
8:7 Surely no one knows the future, 112
and no one can tell another person what will happen. 113
8:8 Just as no one has power over the wind to restrain it, 114
so no one has power over the day of his 115 death.
Just as no one can be discharged during the battle, 116
so wickedness cannot rescue the wicked. 117
Contradictions to the Law of Retribution
and as they left the holy temple, 129 they
boasted 130 in the city that they had done so.
This also is an enigma. 131
8:13 But it will not go well with the wicked,
Sometimes there are righteous people who get what the wicked deserve, 150
and sometimes there are wicked people who get what the righteous deserve. 151
I said, “This also is an enigma.”
Enjoy Life In Spite of Its Injustices
8:15 So I recommend the enjoyment of life, 152
during the days of his life which God gives him on earth. 160
Limitations of Human Wisdom
and to observe the activity 163 on earth –
even though it prevents anyone from sleeping day or night 164 –
8:17 then I discerned all that God has done: 165
Everyone Will Die
I concluded that 177 the righteous and the wise, as well as their works, are in the hand of God;
whether a person will be loved or hated 178 –
no one knows what lies ahead. 179
9:2 Everyone shares the same fate 180 –
the righteous and the wicked,
the good and the bad, 181
the ceremonially clean and unclean,
those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
What happens to the good person, also happens to the sinner; 182
what happens to those who make vows, also happens to those who are afraid to make vows.
the same fate awaits 185 everyone.
In addition to this, the hearts of all people 186 are full of evil,
and there is folly in their hearts during their lives – then they die. 187
Better to Be Poor but Alive than Rich but Dead
a live dog is better than a dead lion.
9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything;
they have no further reward – and even the memory of them disappears. 190
and they no longer have a part in anything that happens on earth. 194
Life is Brief, so Cherish its Joys
9:7 Go, eat your food 195 with joy,
and drink your wine with a happy heart,
because God has already approved your works.
9:8 Let your clothes always be white,
and do not spare precious ointment on your head.
9:10 Whatever you find to do with your hands, 204
do it with all your might,
because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, 205
the place where you will eventually go. 206
Wisdom Cannot Protect against Seemingly Chance Events
the race is not always 209 won by the swiftest,
the battle is not always won by the strongest;
prosperity 210 does not always belong to those who are the wisest,
wealth does not always belong to those who are the most discerning,
nor does success 211 always come to those with the most knowledge –
for time and chance may overcome 212 them all.
Like fish that are caught in a deadly 215 net, and like birds that are caught in a snare –
Most People Are Not Receptive to Wise Counsel
9:13 This is what I also observed about wisdom on earth, 219
and it is a great burden 220 to me:
9:14 There was once 221 a small city with a few men in it,
9:15 However, a poor but wise man lived in the city, 224
and he could have delivered 225 the city by his wisdom,
but no one listened 226 to that poor man.
9:16 So I concluded that wisdom is better than might, 227
Wisdom versus Fools, Sin, and Folly
9:17 The words of the wise are heard in quiet,
more than the shouting of a ruler is heard 230 among fools.
9:18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
but one sinner can destroy much that is good.
Wisdom Can Be Nullified By the Caprice of Rulers
10:2 A wise person’s good sense protects him, 235
but a fool’s lack of sense leaves him vulnerable. 236
10:3 Even when a fool walks along the road he lacks sense, 237
It is an error a ruler makes. 250
while wealthy men sit in lowly positions.
10:7 I have seen slaves 253 on horseback
and princes walking on foot 254 like slaves.
Wisdom is Needed to Avert Dangers in Everyday Life
10:8 One who digs a pit may 255 fall into it,
and one who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. 256
10:9 One who quarries stones may be injured by them;
one who splits logs may be endangered by them.
he must exert a great deal of effort; 261
so wisdom has the advantage of giving success.
10:11 If the snake should bite before it is charmed, 262
Words and Works of Wise Men and Fools
10:13 At the beginning his words 270 are foolish
10:14 yet a fool keeps on babbling. 274
No one knows what will happen;
who can tell him what will happen in the future? 275
because he does not even know the way to the city. 278
The Problem with Foolish Rulers
10:16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is childish, 279
and your princes feast in the morning!
10:17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobility, 280
10:18 Because of laziness the roof 283 caves in,
and because of idle hands 284 the house leaks.
and wine makes life merry, 287
but money is the answer 288 for everything.
10:20 Do not curse a king even in your thoughts,
Ignorance of the Future Demands Diligence in the Present
for after many days you will get a return. 299
11:3 If the clouds are full of rain, they will empty themselves on the earth,
and whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, the tree will lie wherever it falls.
11:4 He who watches the wind will not sow,
and he who observes the clouds will not reap. 305
11:5 Just as you do not know the path 306 of the wind,
so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
11:6 Sow your seed in the morning,
whether this one or that one, or whether both will prosper equally. 313
Life Should Be Enjoyed Because Death is Inevitable
11:8 So, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all,
Enjoy Life to the Fullest under the Fear of God
11:9 Rejoice, young man, while you are young, 320
and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth.
but know that God will judge your motives and actions. 323