Ecclesiastes 10–12; Revelation 13

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.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to nsee the sun.

So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember othat the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is pvanity.5

qRejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. rWalk in the ways of your heart and sthe sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things tGod will bring you into judgment.

10 Remove vexation from your heart, and uput away pain6 from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Remember Your Creator in Your Youth

12 Remember also your Creator in vthe days of your youth, before wthe evil days come and the years draw near of which xyou will say, I have no pleasure in them; before ythe sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and zthose who look through the windows are dimmed, and athe doors on the street are shutwhen bthe sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all cthe daughters of song are brought low they are afraid also of what is high, and dterrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,7 and desire fails, because man is going to his eeternal fhome, and the gmourners go about the streets before the silver cord is snapped, or hthe golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is ishattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and jthe dust returns to the earth as it was, and kthe spirit returns to God lwho gave it. mVanity8 of vanities, says nthe Preacher; all is vanity.

Fear God and Keep His Commandments

Besides being wise, nthe Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging omany proverbs with great care. 10 nThe Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.

11 pThe words of the wise are like goads, and like qnails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are rgiven by sone Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making umany books there is no end, and vmuch study is a weariness of the flesh.

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. wFear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.9 14 For xGod will bring every deed into judgment, with10 every secret thing, whether good or evil.


The First Beast

13 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, owith ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and pblasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was qlike a leopard; its feet were like ra bear's, and its mouth was like sa lion's mouth. And to it tthe dragon gave his power and uhis throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and vthe whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, wWho is like the beast, and who can fight against it?

And the beast was given xa mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for yforty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling,1 that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed zto make war on the saints and to conquer them.2 And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all awho dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in bthe book of life of cthe Lamb dwho was slain. eIf anyone has an ear, let him hear:

10  fIf anyone is to be taken captive,

to captivity he goes;

gif anyone is to be slain with the sword,

with the sword must he be slain.

hHere is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

The Second Beast

11 Then iI saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence,3 and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, jwhose mortal wound was healed. 13 kIt performs great signs, even lmaking fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of4 the beast mit deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast nthat was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not oworship the image of the beast pto be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave,5 qto be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, rthe name of the beast or sthe number of its name. 18 tThis calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number uof a man, and his number is 666.6