7 It is better to have ·respect [a good reputation/L name] than ·good [fine] ·perfume [oil]. The day of death is better than the day of birth. 2 It is better to go to a ·funeral [L house of mourning] than to a ·party [L drinking house]. ·We all must die [L It is everyone’s end], and everyone living should ·think about this [L take it to heart]. 3 ·Sorrow [or Anger] is better than laughter, and ·sadness has a good influence on you [in a troubled face the heart is made well]. 4 ·A wise person thinks about death [The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning], but ·a fool thinks only about having a good time [L the heart of fools is in a house of pleasure]. 5 It is better to ·be criticized by a [hear the rebuke of a] wise person than to ·be praised by a fool [L hear the song of fools]. 6 The laughter of fools is like the crackling of thorns ·in a cooking fire [L under the pot]. Both are useless [1:2].
7 Even wise people are fools if they let ·money change their thinking [L a bribe distort their understanding].
8 It is better to ·finish [end] something than to ·start [begin] it. It is better to be patient than to be proud. 9 Don’t ·become angry quickly [L be quick to anger in your spirit], because ·getting angry is foolish [L anger resides in the bosom of fools].
10 Don’t ·ask [L say], “Why ·was life better in the ‘good old days’ [L were the former days better than these]?” It is not ·wise [L from wisdom] to ask ·such questions [L this].
11 Wisdom is better when it comes with ·money [L an inheritance]. ·They both help those who are alive [L It is an advantage to those who see the sun]. 12 ·Wisdom is like money: they both help [L The protection/shade of wisdom is in/or like the protection/shade of money]. But wisdom is better, because it can ·save [give life to] whoever has it.
13 Look at ·what God has done [L the work/deeds of God]: ·No one [L Who can…?] straighten what he has bent [1:15]. 14 When life is good, enjoy it. But when life is hard, remember: God gives good times and hard times, and no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
It Is Impossible to Be Truly Good
15 In my useless [1:2] ·life [L days] I have seen both of these: I have seen ·good [righteous] people die ·in spite of their goodness [L in their righteousness] and ·evil [wicked] people live a long time in spite of their evil. 16 Don’t be ·too [overly] ·right [righteous; good], and don’t ·be too [or pretend to be] wise. Why ·destroy [ruin] yourself? 17 Don’t be ·too [overly] wicked, and don’t be foolish. Why die ·before [L when it is not] your time? 18 It is good to grab the one and not ·let go of [L relax your hand from] the other; those who ·respect [or are afraid of; 5:7; 7:18; 8:12, 13] God will hold them both.
19 Wisdom makes a person stronger than ten ·leaders [officials; rulers] in a city [9:13–16; Prov. 24:5–6].
21 Don’t ·listen [L give your heart] to everything people say, or you might hear your servant insulting you. 22 ·You know [L Your heart knows] that many times you have insulted others.
23 I ·used wisdom to test [L tested with/or by wisdom] all these things. I said, “I ·want to [or will] be wise,” but it was ·too hard for [L far from] me. 24 ·I cannot understand why things are as they are [L That which is, is far off]. It is ·too hard for anyone to understand [L deep, deep, who can find it?]. 25 ·I studied and tried very hard to find wisdom, to find some meaning for everything [L I and my heart turned to understand and to explore and to seek wisdom and the sum of things]. I learned that it is foolish to be evil, and it is crazy to act like a fool.
26 I found that ·some women [or women] are ·worse [L more bitter] than death and are ·as dangerous as traps [L a trap/snare]. Their ·love is like [L heart is] a net, and their ·arms hold men like [L hands are] chains. A man who pleases God will ·be saved from [escape] them, but ·a sinner [or someone who offends him] will be caught by them.
27 The ·Teacher [or Preacher; L Assembler; 1:1] says, “This is what I ·learned [L found]: ·I added all these things together to find some meaning for everything [L One to one to find the sum/scheme of things]. 28 While I was searching and not finding, I found one man among a thousand. But I did not find a woman among all these [C that is a good woman]. 29 One thing I have ·learned [L found]: God made people ·good [virtuous; upright], but they have ·found all kinds of ways to be bad [L sought out many devices].”
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