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A good name is better than precious ointments (A good name, or a good reputation, is better than expensive perfume); and the day of death is better than the day of birth.

It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of a feast; for in that house the end of all men is warned (of), and a man living thinketh, what is to coming (for in that house the end of all people is warned of, and the living should think of what is to come).

Ire is better than laughing; for the soul of a trespasser is amended by the heaviness of (his) cheer.

The heart of wise men is where sorrow is; and the heart of fools is where folly gladness is.

It is better to be reproved of a wise man, than to be deceived by the flattering of fools; (It is better to be rebuked by a wise person, than to be deceived by the flattery of fools;)

for as the sound of thorns burning under a pot, so is the laughing of a fool. But also this is vanity. (for the sound of thorns burning under a pot, is like the laughter of a fool. But this is also empty and futile.)

False challenge troubleth a wise man, and it shall lose the strength of his heart. (Untrue words, that is, lies and slander, trouble a wise person, and they shall destroy the strength of his heart, that is, his resolve, or his determination.)

Forsooth the end of prayer is better than the beginning. A patient man is better than a proud man.

Be thou not swift to be wroth; for ire resteth in the bosom of a fool. (Do not thou be quick to get angry; for anger lieth in the heart of a fool.)

10 Say thou not, What guessest thou is the cause, that the former times were better than be now? for why such asking is fond (for such questioning is foolish).

11 Forsooth wisdom with riches is more profitable, and profiteth more to men seeing the sun. (For wisdom is more profitable than riches, and profiteth all who see the sun.)

12 For as wisdom defendeth, so money defendeth; but learning and wisdom have this moreover, that those give life to them that have them. (For like wisdom defendeth, so money defendeth; but learning and wisdom have this as well, that they give life to those who have them.)

13 Behold thou the works of God, and see that no man may amend him, whom God hath despised.

14 In a good day use thou (thy) goods, and before eschew thou an evil day (On a good day, enjoy thy good things, but shun thou them on an evil day); for God made so this day as that day, (so) that a man find not just complainings against him.

15 Also I saw these things in the days of my nativity[a]; a just man perisheth in his rightfulness, and a wicked man liveth much time in his malice. (And I have seen these things since the day of my birth/in my empty and futile days; a righteous person perisheth in his righteousness, and a wicked person liveth a great deal of time in his malice.)

16 Do not thou be just over much, neither understand thou more than is needful; lest thou be astonied. (Do not thou be too good, nor understand thou more than is useful; lest thou be regarded with contempt, or with derision.)

17 Do thou not wickedly much (Do not thou do many wicked things), and do not thou be a fool; lest thou die in a time not thine.

18 It is good, that thou sustain a just man; but also withdraw thou not thine hand from him; for he that dreadeth God, is not negligent of anything. (It is good that thou sustain the one, but also do not thou withdraw thy hand from the other; for he who feareth God, is not negligent of anything.)

19 Wisdom hath strengthened a wise man, over ten princes of a city. (Wisdom can strengthen the wise, more than ten leaders of a city.)

20 Forsooth no just man there is in [the] earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (But there is no righteous person in the earth who only, or who always, doeth good, and never sinneth.)

21 But also give thou not thine heart to all (the) words, that be said; lest peradventure thou hear thy servant cursing thee;

22 for thy conscience knoweth, that also thou hast cursed oft other men. (for thy conscience knoweth that thou also hast often cursed other people.)

23 I assayed all things in wisdom; I said, I shall be made wise, and it went away further from me (I said, I shall be made wise, but it went farther away from me),

24 much more than it was; and the depth is low, who shall find it? (much more than it was before; and to such a depth, yea, so low down, that who shall ever be able to find it?)

25 I compassed all things with my soul (I put my mind upon everything, yea), to know, and to behold, and (to) seek (out) wisdom, and reason, and to know the wickedness of a fool, and the error of unprudent men.

26 And I found a woman bitterer than death, the which is (like) the snare of hunters, and her heart is (like) a net, and her hands be (like) bonds; he that pleaseth God shall escape her, but he that is a sinner, shall be taken of her. (And I found a woman more bitter than death, who is like a hunter’s snare, and her heart is like a net, and her hands be like bonds; he who pleaseth God shall escape her, but he who is a sinner shall be caught by her.)

27 Lo! I found this, said Ecclesiastes, (concerning) one (thing) and (an)other, that I should find (the) reason,

28 which my soul seeketh yet; and (other things) I found not. I found one man of a thousand; and I found not a woman of all. (which my soul yet seeketh; but other things I did not find. I found one man out of a thousand; but I did not find one woman out of all of them.)

29 I found this only, that God made a man rightful [that God made man right]; and (then) he meddled himself with questions without number. (I found only this, that God made a person upright, or clear-headed; but then he mixed himself in/mixed himself up with too many questions.)


  1. Ecclesiastes 7:15 That is, (the days) of (this) present life, that passeth soon away, so it is not no but vanity (so that they be but empty and futile).