16 Do not be overrighteous,
    neither be overwise—
    why destroy yourself?

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All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad,[a] the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.

As it is with the good,
    so with the sinful;
as it is with those who take oaths,
    so with those who are afraid to take them.(A)

This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all.(B) The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live,(C) and afterward they join the dead.(D) Anyone who is among the living has hope[b]—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

For the living know that they will die,
    but the dead know nothing;(E)
they have no further reward,
    and even their name(F) is forgotten.(G)
Their love, their hate
    and their jealousy have long since vanished;
never again will they have a part
    in anything that happens under the sun.(H)

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine(I) with a joyful heart,(J) for God has already approved what you do. Always be clothed in white,(K) and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife,(L) whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot(M) in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever(N) your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,(O) for in the realm of the dead,(P) where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.(Q)

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  1. Ecclesiastes 9:2 Septuagint (Aquila), Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew does not have and the bad.
  2. Ecclesiastes 9:4 Or What then is to be chosen? With all who live, there is hope

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