15 I have seen everything in my days of vanity:

(A)There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness,
And there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.

16 (B)Do not be overly righteous,
(C)Nor be overly wise:
Why should you destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overly wicked,
Nor be foolish:
(D)Why should you die before your time?
18 It is good that you grasp this,
And also not remove your hand from the other;
For he who (E)fears God will [a]escape them all.

19 (F)Wisdom strengthens the wise
More than ten rulers of the city.

20 (G)For there is not a just man on earth who does good
And does not sin.

21 Also do not take to heart everything people say,
Lest you hear your servant cursing you.
22 For many times, also, your own heart has known
That even you have cursed others.

23 All this I have [b]proved by wisdom.
(H)I said, “I will be wise”;
But it was far from me.
24 (I)As for that which is far off and (J)exceedingly deep,
Who can find it out?
25 (K)I applied my heart to know,
To search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things,
To know the wickedness of folly,
Even of foolishness and madness.
26 (L)And I find more bitter than death
The woman whose heart is snares and nets,
Whose hands are fetters.
[c]He who pleases God shall escape from her,
But the sinner shall be trapped by her.

27 “Here is what I have found,” says (M)the Preacher,
Adding one thing to the other to find out the reason,
28 Which my soul still seeks but I cannot find:
(N)One man among a thousand I have found,
But a woman among all these I have not found.
29 Truly, this only I have found:
(O)That God made man upright,
But (P)they have sought out many schemes.”

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  1. Ecclesiastes 7:18 Lit. come forth from all of them
  2. Ecclesiastes 7:23 tested
  3. Ecclesiastes 7:26 Lit. He who is good before God

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