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Ecclesiastes 6:10-7:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is. 11 For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man? 12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few [a]years of his futile life? He will [b]spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

Wisdom and Folly Contrasted

A good name is better than a good ointment,
And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because [c]that is the end of every man,
And the living [d]takes it to [e]heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
For when a face is sad a heart may be happy.
The [f]mind of the wise is in the house of mourning,
While the [g]mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.
It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man
Than for one to listen to the song of fools.
For as the [h]crackling of thorn bushes under a pot,
So is the laughter of the fool;
And this too is futility.
For oppression makes a wise man mad,
And a bribe [i]corrupts the heart.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning;
Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.
Do not be [j]eager in your heart to be angry,
For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
11 Wisdom along with an inheritance is good
And an advantage to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom is [k]protection just as money is [l]protection,
But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.
13 Consider the work of God,
For who is able to straighten what He has bent?
14 In the day of prosperity be happy,
But in the day of adversity consider—
God has made the one as well as the other
So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 6:12 Lit days
  2. Ecclesiastes 6:12 Lit do
  3. Ecclesiastes 7:2 I.e. death
  4. Ecclesiastes 7:2 Lit gives
  5. Ecclesiastes 7:2 Lit his heart
  6. Ecclesiastes 7:4 Lit heart
  7. Ecclesiastes 7:4 Lit heart
  8. Ecclesiastes 7:6 Lit voice
  9. Ecclesiastes 7:7 Lit destroys
  10. Ecclesiastes 7:9 Lit hasty in your spirit
  11. Ecclesiastes 7:12 Lit in a shadow
  12. Ecclesiastes 7:12 Lit in a shadow
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Ecclesiastes 6:10-7:14 New International Version (NIV)

10 Whatever exists has already been named,
    and what humanity is has been known;
no one can contend
    with someone who is stronger.
11 The more the words,
    the less the meaning,
    and how does that profit anyone?

12 For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?

Wisdom

A good name is better than fine perfume,
    and the day of death better than the day of birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning
    than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
    the living should take this to heart.
Frustration is better than laughter,
    because a sad face is good for the heart.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
    but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person
    than to listen to the song of fools.
Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
    so is the laughter of fools.
    This too is meaningless.

Extortion turns a wise person into a fool,
    and a bribe corrupts the heart.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
    and patience is better than pride.
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
    for anger resides in the lap of fools.

10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
    For it is not wise to ask such questions.

11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing
    and benefits those who see the sun.
12 Wisdom is a shelter
    as money is a shelter,
but the advantage of knowledge is this:
    Wisdom preserves those who have it.

13 Consider what God has done:

Who can straighten
    what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy;
    but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
    as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
    anything about their future.

New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

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