Ecclesiastes 9:13-18 Common English Bible (CEB)
13 I also observed the following example of wisdom under the sun—it impressed me greatly: 14 There was a small town with only a few residents. A mighty king came against it, surrounded it, and waged a terrible war against it. 15 Now there lived in that town a poor but wise man who saved everyone by his wisdom. But no one remembered that poor man. 16 So I thought, Wisdom is better than might, but the wisdom of commoners is despised and their words aren’t heeded.
17 The calm words of the wise are better heeded than the racket caused by a ruler among fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one incompetent person destroys much good.
Ecclesiastes 11 Common English Bible (CEB)
Take risks; life is short
11 Send your bread out on the water because, in the course of time, you may find it again. 2 Give a portion to seven people, even to eight: you don’t know what disaster may come upon the land. 3 If clouds fill up, they will empty out rain on the earth. If a tree falls, whether to the south or to the north, wherever it falls, there it will lie. 4 Those who watch the wind blow will never sow, and those who observe the clouds will never reap. 5 Just as you don’t understand what the life-breath does in the fetus[a] inside a pregnant woman’s womb, so you can’t understand the work of God, who makes everything happen. 6 Scatter your seed in the morning, and in the evening don’t be idle because you don’t know which will succeed, this one or that, or whether both will be equally good.
7 Sweet is the light, and it’s pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. 8 Even those who live many years should take pleasure in them all. But they should be mindful that there will also be many dark days. Everything that happens is pointless.
9 Rejoice, young person, while you are young! Your heart should make you happy in your prime. Follow your heart’s inclinations and whatever your eyes see, but know this: God will call you to account for all of these things. 10 Remove anxiety from your heart, banish pain from your body, because youth and the dawn of life are pointless too.