New International Version
10 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,
so a little folly(A) outweighs wisdom and honor.
2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of the fool to the left.
3 Even as fools walk along the road,
they lack sense
and show everyone(B) how stupid they are.
4 If a ruler’s anger rises against you,
do not leave your post;(C)
calmness can lay great offenses to rest.(D)
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
6 Fools are put in many high positions,(E)
while the rich occupy the low ones.
7 I have seen slaves on horseback,
while princes go on foot like slaves.(F)
10 If the ax is dull
and its edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed,
but skill will bring success.
11 If a snake bites before it is charmed,
the charmer receives no fee.(J)
12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious,(K)
but fools are consumed by their own lips.(L)
13 At the beginning their words are folly;
at the end they are wicked madness—
14 and fools multiply words.(M)
No one knows what is coming—
who can tell someone else what will happen after them?(N)
15 The toil of fools wearies them;
they do not know the way to town.
16 Woe to the land whose king was a servant[a](O)
and whose princes feast in the morning.
17 Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth
and whose princes eat at a proper time—
for strength and not for drunkenness.(P)
18 Through laziness, the rafters sag;
because of idle hands, the house leaks.(Q)
19 A feast is made for laughter,
wine(R) makes life merry,
and money is the answer for everything.
20 Do not revile the king(S) even in your thoughts,
or curse the rich in your bedroom,
because a bird in the sky may carry your words,
and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
Invest in Many Ventures
3 If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
6 Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,(X)
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.
Remember Your Creator While Young
7 Light is sweet,
and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.(Y)
8 However many years anyone may live,
let them enjoy them all.
But let them remember(Z) the days of darkness,
for there will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless.
9 You who are young, be happy while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you into judgment.(AA)
10 So then, banish anxiety(AB) from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.(AC)
12 Remember(AD) your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble(AE) come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—
2 before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
3 when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
4 when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;(AF)
5 when people are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags itself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home(AG)
and mourners(AH) go about the streets.
6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the wheel broken at the well,
7 and the dust returns(AI) to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God(AJ) who gave it.(AK)
The Conclusion of the Matter
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.(AN) 10 The Teacher(AO) searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.(AP)
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.(AR)
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God(AS) and keep his commandments,(AT)
for this is the duty of all mankind.(AU)
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,(AV)
including every hidden thing,(AW)
whether it is good or evil.
King James Version
10 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.
2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.
3 Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.
4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:
6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.
7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.
10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.
11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.
16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!
17 Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.
19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
11 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
3 If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:
8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.
9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
12 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.
9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
New International Version
The Collection for the Lord’s People
8 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian(A) churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.(B) 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able,(C) and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing(D) in this service(E) to the Lord’s people.(F) 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged(G) Titus,(H) just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion(I) this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything(J)—in faith, in speech, in knowledge,(K) in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you,(L) but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace(M) of our Lord Jesus Christ,(N) that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor,(O) so that you through his poverty might become rich.(P)
10 And here is my judgment(Q) about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.(R) 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness(S) to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has,(T) not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need,(U) so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”[b](V)Read full chapter
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
King James Version
8 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.Read full chapter
New International Version
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
1 Hear(A) this, all you peoples;(B)
listen, all who live in this world,(C)
2 both low and high,(D)
rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;(E)
the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.(F)
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;(G)
with the harp(H) I will expound my riddle:(I)
5 Why should I fear(J) when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me—
6 those who trust in their wealth(K)
and boast(L) of their great riches?(M)
7 No one can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for them—
8 the ransom(N) for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough—(O)
9 so that they should live on(P) forever
and not see decay.(Q)
10 For all can see that the wise die,(R)
that the foolish and the senseless(S) also perish,
leaving their wealth(T) to others.(U)
11 Their tombs(V) will remain their houses[b] forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,(W)
though they had[c] named(X) lands after themselves.
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,(AA)
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.[d]
14 They are like sheep and are destined(AB) to die;(AC)
death will be their shepherd
(but the upright will prevail(AD) over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;(AE)
he will surely take me to himself.(AF)
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing(AG) with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.(AH)
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—(AI)
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,(AJ)
who will never again see the light(AK) of life.
King James Version
49 Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:
2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?
6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.
14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
17 For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.
19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.
20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.Read full chapter
King James Version
20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?Read full chapter