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Ecclesiastes 7American Standard Version (ASV)

A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death, than the day of one’s birth. It is 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 lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made [a]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 for a man to hear the song of fools. For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity. [b]Surely extortion maketh the wise man foolish; and a bribe destroyeth the understanding. Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be [c]angry; for [d]anger resteth in the bosom of fools. 10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire [e]wisely concerning this. 11 Wisdom [f]is as good as an inheritance; yea, more excellent is it for them that see the sun. 12 For wisdom is a defence, even as money is a defence; but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom preserveth the life of him that hath it. 13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? 14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yea, God hath made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything that shall be after him. 15 All this have I seen in my days of vanity: there is a righteous man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his evil-doing. 16 Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself overwise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself? 17 Be not overmuch wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time? 18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from that withdraw not thy hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth from them all. 19 Wisdom is a strength to the wise man more than ten rulers that are in a city. 20 [g]Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. 21 Also [h]take not heed unto all words that are spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee; 22 for oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others. 23 All this have I [i]proved in wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me. 24 That which [j]is, is far off and exceeding deep; who can find it out? 25 I turned about, and my heart was set to know and to search out, and to seek wisdom and the reason of things, and to know [k]that wickedness is folly, and that foolishness is madness. 26 And I find more bitter than death the woman [l]whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. 27 Behold, this have I found, saith the Preacher, [m]laying one thing to another, to find out the account; 28 which my soul still seeketh, but I have not found: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. 29 Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.


  1. Ecclesiastes 7:3 Or, better
  2. Ecclesiastes 7:7 Or, For
  3. Ecclesiastes 7:9 Or, vexed
  4. Ecclesiastes 7:9 Or, vexation
  5. Ecclesiastes 7:10 Hebrew out of wisdom.
  6. Ecclesiastes 7:11 Or, is good together with an inheritance, and profitable unto them etc.
  7. Ecclesiastes 7:20 Or, For
  8. Ecclesiastes 7:21 Hebrew give not thy heart.
  9. Ecclesiastes 7:23 Or, tried by
  10. Ecclesiastes 7:24 Or, hath been
  11. Ecclesiastes 7:25 Or, the wickedness of folly, and foolishness which is madness
  12. Ecclesiastes 7:26 Or, who is a snare, and her heart is as nets
  13. Ecclesiastes 7:27 Or, weighing one thing after another, to find out the reason

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