7 A good reputation at the time of death is better than loving care at the time of birth.[a] 2 It’s better to go to a funeral than to attend a feast; funerals remind us that we all must die. 3 Choose sorrow over laughter because a sad face may hide a happy heart. 4 A sensible person mourns, but fools always laugh. 5 Harsh correction is better than the songs of a fool. 6 Foolish laughter is stupid. It sounds like thorns crackling in a fire. 7 Corruption[b] makes fools of sensible people, and bribes can ruin you. 8 Something completed is better than something just begun; patience is better than too much pride. 9 Only fools get angry quickly and hold a grudge. 10 It isn’t wise to ask, “Why is everything worse than it used to be?” 11 Having wisdom is better than an inheritance. 12 Wisdom will protect you just like money; knowledge with good sense will lead you to life. 13 Think of what God has done! If God makes something crooked, can you make it straight?
14 When times are good, you should be cheerful; when times are bad, think what it means. God makes them both to keep us from knowing what will happen next.
Some of Life’s Questions
15 I have seen everything during this senseless life of mine. I have seen good citizens die for doing the right thing, and I have seen criminals live to a ripe old age. 16 So don’t destroy yourself by being too good or acting too smart! 17 Don’t die before your time by being too evil or acting like a fool. 18 Keep to the middle of the road. You can do this if you truly respect God.
19 Wisdom will make you stronger than the ten most powerful leaders in your city.
20 No one in this world always does right.
21 Don’t listen to everything that everyone says, or you might hear your servant cursing you. 22 Haven’t you cursed many others?
23 I told myself that I would be smart and try to understand all of this, but it was too much for me. 24 The truth is beyond us. It’s far too deep. 25 So I decided to learn everything I could and become wise enough to discover what life is all about. At the same time, I wanted to understand why it’s stupid and senseless to be an evil fool.
26 Here is what I discovered: A bad woman is worse than death. She is a trap, reaching out with body and soul to catch you. But if you obey God, you can escape. If you don’t obey, you are done for. 27 With all my wisdom I have tried to find out how everything fits together, 28 but so far I have not been able to. I do know there is one good man in a thousand, but never have I found a good woman. 29 I did learn one thing: We were completely honest when God created us, but now we have twisted minds.
7.1birth: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 1.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience! For just a few dollars each month, Bible Gateway Plus gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.