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Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

A Disillusioned View of Life

A good name is better than precious ointment,
    and the day of death, than the day of birth.
It is better to go to the house of mourning
    than to go to the house of feasting;
for this is the end of everyone,
    and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
    for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning;
    but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise
    than to hear the song of fools.
For like the crackling of thorns under a pot,
    so is the laughter of fools;
    this also is vanity.
Surely oppression makes the wise foolish,
    and a bribe corrupts the heart.
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning;
    the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit.
Do not be quick to anger,
    for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?”
    For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance,
    an advantage to those who see the sun.
12 For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money,
    and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to the one who possesses it.
13 Consider the work of God;
    who can make straight what he has made crooked?

14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals may not find out anything that will come after them.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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