10 Whatever one is, he has been named (A)already,
For it is known that he is man;
(B)And he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.
11 Since there are many things that increase vanity,
How is man the better?

12 For who knows what is good for man in life, [a]all the days of his [b]vain life which he passes like (C)a shadow? (D)Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?

The Value of Practical Wisdom

A (E)good name is better than precious ointment,
And the day of death than the day of one’s (F)birth;
Better to go to the house of mourning
Than to go to the house of feasting,
For that is the end of all men;
And the living will take it to (G)heart.
[c]Sorrow is better than laughter,
(H)For by a sad countenance the heart is made [d]better.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

(I)It is better to [e]hear the rebuke of the wise
Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
(J)For like the [f]crackling of thorns under a pot,
So is the laughter of the fool.
This also is vanity.
Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason,
(K)And a bribe [g]debases the heart.

The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
(L)The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
(M)Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
For anger rests in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say,
“Why were the former days better than these?”
For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.

11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
And profitable (N)to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom is [h]a (O)defense as money is a defense,
But the [i]excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives (P)life to those who have it.

13 Consider the work of God;
For (Q)who can make straight what He has made crooked?
14 (R)In the day of prosperity be joyful,
But in the day of adversity consider:
Surely God has appointed the one [j]as well as the other,
So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.


  1. Ecclesiastes 6:12 Lit. the number of the days
  2. Ecclesiastes 6:12 futile
  3. Ecclesiastes 7:3 Vexation or Grief
  4. Ecclesiastes 7:3 well or pleasing
  5. Ecclesiastes 7:5 listen to
  6. Ecclesiastes 7:6 Lit. sound
  7. Ecclesiastes 7:7 destroys
  8. Ecclesiastes 7:12 A protective shade, lit. shadow
  9. Ecclesiastes 7:12 advantage or profit
  10. Ecclesiastes 7:14 alongside

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