Ecclesiastes 9 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)
9 I treated all these things in mine heart, to understand diligently. Just men, and wise men there be, and their works be in the hand of God; and nevertheless a man knoweth not, whether he is worthy of love or of hate. (I treated, or considered, all these things in my mind, to diligently understand them. There be the righteous, and the wise, and all their works be in God’s hands; yet nevertheless a person knoweth not whether he is worthy of love, or of hate.)
2 But all things be kept uncertain into the time to coming; for all things befall evenly to a just man and to a wicked man, to a good man and to an evil man, to a clean man and to an unclean man, to a man offering offerings and sacrifices, and to a man despising sacrifices; as a good man, so and a sinner; as a forsworn man, so and he that greatly sweareth truth (as to a good man, and so to a sinner; as to a forsworn man, and so to him who greatly sweareth truth).
3 This thing is the worst among all things, that be done under the sun, that the same thing befall to all men; wherefore and the hearts of the sons of men be filled with malice and with despising in their life; and after these things, they shall be led down into hells. (This thing is the worst among all things, that be done under the sun, that the same thing befall to all people; yea, the hearts of the sons and daughters of men be filled with malice and despising during their lives; and then after these things, they go down to Sheol, or the land of the dead/they go down to hell.)
4 No man there is, that liveth ever, and that hath trust of this thing; better is a quick dog than a dead lion. (But for everyone who liveth, there is still hope; yea, a living dog is better than a dead lion.)
5 For they that live know that they shall die; but dead men know nothing more, neither have meed further; for their mind is given to forgetting. (For they who live at least know that they shall die; but the dead know nothing, nor have any further reward; even the memory of them is forgotten.)
6 Also the(ir) love, and hatred, and envy, (have) perished (al)together; and they have no part in this world, and in the work that is done under the sun.
7 Therefore go thou, just man, and eat thy bread in gladness, and drink thy wine with joy; for thy works please God. (And so, O righteous person, go thou, and eat thy bread with happiness, and drink thy wine with joy; for thy works please God.)
8 In each time thy clothes be white, and oil fail not from thine head. (At all times let thy clothes be white, and let thy head not lack oil.)
9 Use thou life with the wife which thou lovest, in all the days of the life of thine unstableness, that be given to thee under the sun, in all the time of thy vanity; for this is thy part in thy life and [thy] travail, by which thou travailest under the sun. (Enjoy thou life with the wife whom thou lovest, in all the days of thy unstable, or thy changing, life, that be given to thee under the sun, in all thy empty and futile time; for this is thy portion in thy life, and thy labour in which thou labourest under the sun.)
10 Work thou busily, whatever thing thine hand may do; for neither work, neither reason, nor knowing, nor wisdom, shall be at hells, whither thou hastest. (Busily work thou, at whatever thy hands can do; for neither work, nor reason, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, be in the land of the dead, where thou hastenest.)
11 I turned me to another thing, and I saw under [the] sun, that running is not of swift men, neither battle is of strong men, neither bread is of wise men, neither riches be of teachers, nor grace is of craftsmen; but time and hap is in all things[a]. (I turned me to another thing, and I saw under the sun, that the race is not always to the swift, or the battle to the strong, or bread to the wise, or riches to those who teach, or favour to the skilled, but timing and happenstance be to everything.)
12 A man knoweth not his end; but as fishes be taken with an hook, and as birds be taken with a snare, so men be taken in (an) evil time, when it cometh suddenly [up]on them.
13 Also I saw this wisdom under the sun, and I proved it the most.
14 A little city, and few men therein; a great king came against it, and compassed it with pales, and he builded strongholds, either engines, by compass; and [the] besieging was made perfect. (There was a small city, with only a few people in it; a great king came against it, and surrounded it with posts, and he built strongholds, or bulwarks, all around it; and so the siege was made perfect.)
15 And a poor man and a wise was found therein; and he delivered the city by his wisdom, and no man bethought afterward on that poor man. (And a poor but wise man was found there; and he saved the city by his wisdom, but afterward no one thought much about that poor man.)
16 And I said, that wisdom is better than strength; how therefore is the wisdom of a poor man despised, and his words be not heard? (And I have always said, that wisdom is better than strength; and so why is the wisdom of a poor man despised, and his words not listened to?)
17 The words of wise men be heard in silence, more than the cry of a prince among fools. (The words of the wise should be heard in silence, much more than the loud cry of a leader of a group of fools.)
18 Better is wisdom than armours of battle; and he that sinneth in one thing, shall lose many goods. (Better is wisdom than the arms, or the weapons, of battle; and he who sinneth in one thing, shall lose much that is good.)