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14 Wise people have eyes in their heads,
    but fools walk in darkness.

Yet I knew that the same lot befalls both.[a](A) 15 So I said in my heart, if the fool’s lot is to befall me also, why should I be wise? Where is the profit? And in my heart I decided that this too is vanity. 16 (B)The wise person will have no more abiding remembrance than the fool; for in days to come both will have been forgotten. How is it that the wise person dies[b] like the fool!

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  1. 2:14 Yet I knew…befalls both: the author quotes a traditional saying upholding the advantages of wisdom, but then qualifies it. Nothing, not even wisdom itself, can give someone absolute control over their destiny and therefore guarantee any advantage.
  2. 2:16 The wise person dies: death, until now only alluded to (vv. 14–15), takes center stage and will constantly appear in the author’s reflections through the remainder of the book.