10 Whatever(A) your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,(B) for in the realm of the dead,(C) where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.(D)

11 I have seen something else under the sun:

The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong,(E)
nor does food come to the wise(F)
    or wealth to the brilliant
    or favor to the learned;
but time and chance(G) happen to them all.(H)

12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:

As fish are caught in a cruel net,
    or birds are taken in a snare,
so people are trapped by evil times(I)
    that fall unexpectedly upon them.(J)

Wisdom Better Than Folly

13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom(K) that greatly impressed me: 14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man.(L) 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.(M)

17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
    than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom(N) is better than weapons of war,
    but one sinner destroys much good.

Read full chapter

Bible Gateway Recommends