10 Dead flies make (A)the perfumer's ointment give off a stench;
    so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
(B)A wise man's heart inclines him to the right,
    but a fool's heart to the left.
Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense,
    and he (C)says to everyone that he is a fool.
If the anger of the ruler rises against you, (D)do not leave your place,
    (E)for calmness[a] will lay great offenses to rest.

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were (F)an error proceeding from the ruler: (G)folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. (H)I have seen slaves (I)on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.

He who (J)digs a pit will fall into it,
    and (K)a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.
(L)He who quarries stones is hurt by them,
    and he who (M)splits logs is endangered by them.
10 If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,
    he must use more strength,
    but wisdom helps one to succeed.[b]
11 If the serpent bites before it is (N)charmed,
    there is no advantage to the charmer.

12 The words of a wise man's mouth (O)win him favor,[c]
    but (P)the lips of a fool consume him.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness,
    and the end of his talk is evil madness.
14 (Q)A fool multiplies words,
    though no man knows what is to be,
    and who can tell him (R)what will be after him?
15 The toil of a fool wearies him,
    for he does not know (S)the way to the city.

16 (T)Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child,
    and your princes feast in the morning!
17 Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility,
    and your princes feast at the proper time,
    for strength, and not for (U)drunkenness!
18 Through sloth the roof sinks in,
    and through indolence the house leaks.
19 Bread is made for laughter,
    and (V)wine gladdens life,
    and (W)money answers everything.
20 Even in your thoughts, (X)do not curse the king,
    nor in your (Y)bedroom curse the rich,
for a bird of the air will carry your voice,
    or some winged creature tell the matter.

Cast Your Bread upon the Waters

11 (Z)Cast your bread upon the waters,
    (AA)for you will find it after many days.
(AB)Give a portion to (AC)seven, or even to eight,
    (AD)for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
If the clouds are full of rain,
    they empty themselves on the earth,
and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
He who observes the wind will not sow,
    and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the way (AE)the spirit comes to (AF)the bones in the womb[d] of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening (AG)withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to (AH)see the sun.

So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember (AI)that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is (AJ)vanity.[e]

(AK)Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. (AL)Walk in the ways of your heart and (AM)the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things (AN)God will bring you into judgment.

10 Remove vexation from your heart, and (AO)put away pain[f] from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Remember Your Creator in Your Youth

12 Remember also your Creator in (AP)the days of your youth, before (AQ)the evil days come and the years draw near of which (AR)you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before (AS)the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and (AT)those who look through the windows are dimmed, and (AU)the doors on the street are shut—when (AV)the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all (AW)the daughters of song are brought low— they are afraid also of what is high, and (AX)terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,[g] and desire fails, because man is going to his (AY)eternal (AZ)home, and the (BA)mourners go about the streets— before the silver cord is snapped, or (BB)the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is (BC)shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and (BD)the dust returns to the earth as it was, and (BE)the spirit returns to God (BF)who gave it. (BG)Vanity[h] of vanities, says (BH)the Preacher; all is vanity.

Fear God and Keep His Commandments

Besides being wise, (BI)the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging (BJ)many proverbs with great care. 10 (BK)The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.

11 (BL)The words of the wise are like goads, and like (BM)nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are (BN)given by (BO)one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making (BP)many books there is no end, and (BQ)much study is a weariness of the flesh.

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. (BR)Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.[i] 14 For (BS)God will bring every deed into judgment, with[j] every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Footnotes

  1. Ecclesiastes 10:4 Hebrew healing
  2. Ecclesiastes 10:10 Or wisdom is an advantage for success
  3. Ecclesiastes 10:12 Or are gracious
  4. Ecclesiastes 11:5 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts As you do not know the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb
  5. Ecclesiastes 11:8 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verse 10 (see note on 1:2)
  6. Ecclesiastes 11:10 Or evil
  7. Ecclesiastes 12:5 Or is a burden
  8. Ecclesiastes 12:8 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (three times in this verse); see note on 1:2
  9. Ecclesiastes 12:13 Or the duty of all mankind
  10. Ecclesiastes 12:14 Or into the judgment on

24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and (A)fell down at his feet and (B)worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, (C)“Stand up; I too am a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew (D)to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but (E)God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”

30 And Cornelius said, (F)“Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at (G)the ninth hour,[a] and behold, (H)a man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, (I)your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

Gentiles Hear the Good News

34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that (J)God (K)shows no partiality, 35 but (L)in every nation anyone who fears him and (M)does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for (N)the word that he sent to Israel, (O)preaching good news of (P)peace through Jesus Christ ((Q)he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, (R)beginning (S)from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how (T)God anointed Jesus of Nazareth (U)with the Holy Spirit and with (V)power. He went about doing good and healing all (W)who were oppressed by the devil, (X)for God was with him. 39 And (Y)we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. (Z)They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but (AA)God raised him on (AB)the third day and made him to (AC)appear, 41 (AD)not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as (AE)witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And (AF)he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify (AG)that he is the one appointed by God to be judge (AH)of the living and the dead. 43 (AI)To him (AJ)all the prophets bear witness that (AK)everyone who believes in him receives (AL)forgiveness of sins (AM)through his name.”

The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles

44 While Peter was still saying these things, (AN)the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among (AO)the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because (AP)the gift of the Holy Spirit (AQ)was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them (AR)speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 (AS)“Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit (AT)just as we have?” 48 And he (AU)commanded them (AV)to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Acts 10:30 That is, 3 p.m.

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