Ecclesiastes 7:7–12; Ecclesiastes 7:19–26; Ecclesiastes 10–11:6

Surely ooppression drives the wise into madness,

and pa bribe corrupts the heart.

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,

and qthe patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

rBe not quick in your spirit to become angry,

sfor anger lodges in the heart1 of fools.

10  Say not, Why were the former days better than these?

For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.

11  Wisdom is good with an inheritance,

an advantage to those who tsee the sun.

12  For the protection of wisdom is like uthe protection of money,

and the advantage of knowledge is that vwisdom preserves the life of him who has it.


19 iWisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.

20 Surely jthere is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

21 Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear kyour servant cursing you. 22 Your heart knows that lmany times you yourself have cursed others.

23 All this I have tested by wisdom. mI said, I will be wise, but it was far from me. 24 That which has been is far off, and ndeep, very deep; owho can find it out?

25 pI turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. 26 And I find something more qbitter than death: rthe woman whose heart is ssnares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but tthe sinner is taken by her.


10  Dead flies make gthe perfumer's ointment give off a stench;

so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.

hA wise man's heart inclines him to the right,

but a fool's heart to the left.

Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense,

and he isays to everyone that he is a fool.

If the anger of the ruler rises against you, jdo not leave your place,

kfor calmness1 will lay great offenses to rest.

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were lan error proceeding from the ruler: mfolly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. nI have seen slaves oon horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.

He who pdigs a pit will fall into it,

and qa serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.

rHe who quarries stones is hurt by them,

and he who ssplits logs is endangered by them.

10  If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,

he must use more strength,

but wisdom helps one to succeed.2

11  If the serpent bites before it is tcharmed,

there is no advantage to the charmer.

12  The words of a wise man's mouth uwin him favor,3

but vthe lips of a fool consume him.

13  The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness,

and the end of his talk is evil madness.

14  wA fool multiplies words,

though no man knows what is to be,

and who can tell him xwhat will be after him?

15  The toil of a fool wearies him,

for he does not know ythe way to the city.

16  zWoe to you, O land, when your king is a child,

and your princes feast in the morning!

17  Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility,

and your princes feast at the proper time,

for strength, and not for adrunkenness!

18  Through sloth the roof sinks in,

and through indolence the house leaks.

19  Bread is made for laughter,

and bwine gladdens life,

and cmoney answers everything.

20  Even in your thoughts, ddo not curse the king,

nor in your ebedroom curse the rich,

for a bird of the air will carry your voice,

or some winged creature tell the matter.

Cast Your Bread upon the Waters

11  fCast your bread upon the waters,

gfor you will find it after many days.

hGive a portion to iseven, or even to eight,

jfor you know not what disaster may happen on earth.

If the clouds are full of rain,

they empty themselves on the earth,

and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,

in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.

He who observes the wind will not sow,

and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the way kthe spirit comes to lthe bones in the womb4 of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening mwithhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.