7 Divers precepts to follow that which is good, and to avoid the contrary.
1 Surely there be many things that increase vanity, and what availeth it a man?
2 For who knoweth what is [a]good for man in the life, and in the number of the days of the life of his vanity, seeing he maketh them as a shadow? for who can show unto man what shall be after him under the sun?
3 A good name is better than a good ointment, and the day of [b]death, than the day that one is born.
4 It is better to go to the house of [c]mourning, than to go to the house of feasting, because this is the end of all men: and the living shall lay it to his heart.
5 Anger is better than laughter: for by a sad look the heart is made better.
6 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning: but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
7 Better it is to hear the rebuke of a wise man, than that a man should hear the song of fools.
8 For like the noise of the [d]thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
9 Surely oppression maketh a wise man [e]mad: and the reward destroyeth the heart.
10 The [f]end of a thing is better than the beginning thereof, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
11 Be not thou of an hasty spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
12 Say not thou, Why is it that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire [g]wisely of this thing.
13 Wisdom is good with an [h]inheritance, and excellent to them that see the sun.
14 For man shall rest in the shadow of wisdom, and in the shadow of silver: but the excellency of the knowledge of wisdom giveth life to the possessors thereof.
15 Behold the work of God; for who can make straight that which he hath made crooked?
16 In the day of wealth be of good comfort, and in the day of affliction [i]consider: God also hath made this contrary to that, to the intent that man should find [j]nothing after him.
17 I have seen all things in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his [k]justice, and there is a wicked man that continueth long in his malice.
18 Be not thou just [l]overmuch, neither make thyself overwise: wherefore shouldest thou be desolate?
19 Be not thou wicked [m]overmuch, neither be thou foolish: wherefore shouldest thou perish not in thy time?
20 It is good that thou lay hold on [n]this: but yet withdraw not thine hand from [o]that: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.
21 Wisdom shall strengthen the wise men more than ten mighty princes that are in the city.
22 Surely there is no man just in the earth that doeth good and sinneth not.
23 Give not thine [p]heart also to all the words that men speak, lest thou do hear thy servant cursing thee.
24 For oftentimes also thine heart knoweth that thou likewise hast [q]cursed others.
25 All this have I proved by wisdom: I thought, I will be wise, but it went far from me.
26 It is far off, what may [r]it be? and it is a profound deepness, who can find it?
27 I have compassed about, both I and mine heart to know and to inquire and to search wisdom, and reason, and to know the wickedness of folly, and the foolishness of madness,
28 And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is as nets and snares, and her hands as bands: he that is good before God, shall be delivered from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her.
29 Behold, saith the Preacher, this have I found, seeking one by one to [s]find the count:
30 And yet my soul seeketh, but I find it not. I have found one man of a thousand: but a woman among them all have I not found.
31 Only lo, this have I found, that God hath made man righteous: but they have sought many [t]inventions.
Ecclesiastes 7:2There is no state wherein man can live to have perfect quietness in this life.
Ecclesiastes 7:3He speaketh thus after the judgment of the flesh, which thinketh death to be the end of all evils, or else, because that this corporal death is the entering into life everlasting.
Ecclesiastes 7:4Where we may see the hand of God, and learn to examine our lives.
Ecclesiastes 7:13He answereth to them that esteem not wisdom except riches be joined therewith, showing that both are the gifts of God, but that wisdom is far more excellent, and may be without riches.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
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