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Ecclesiastes 7-1221st Century King James Version (KJ21)

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to his heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

For as is the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.

Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad, and a bribe destroyeth the heart.

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry, for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

10 Say not thou, “Why were the former days better than these?” For thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.

11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.

12 For wisdom is a safeguard, as money is a safeguard, but the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

13 Consider the work of God; for who can make straight that which He hath made crooked?

14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider this: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: There is a just man who perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

16 Be not righteous overmuch, neither make thyself overwise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

17 Be not overmuch wicked, neither be thou foolish. Why shouldest thou die before thy time?

18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from the other withdraw not thine hand. For he that feareth God shall come forth from them all.

19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men who are in the city.

20 For there is not a just man upon earth who doeth good and sinneth not.

21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee.

22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

23 All this have I tested by wisdom: I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.

24 That which is far off and exceedingly deep” who can find it out?

25 I applied mine heart to know and to search and to seek out wisdom and the reason for things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.

26 And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are as bonds. Whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her.

27 “Behold, this have I found,” saith the Preacher, “counting one by one to find out the account,

28 which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: One man among a thousand have I found, but a woman among all those have I not found.

29 Lo, this only have I found: that God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions.”

Who is as the wise man? And who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.

I counsel thee to keep the king’s commandment, and that because of thy oath to God.

Be not hasty to go out of his sight. Stand not for an evil cause, for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.

Where the word of a king is, there is power; and who may say unto him, “What doest thou?”

Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing, and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.

Because for every purpose there is a time and a judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

For he knoweth not that which shall be; for who can tell him when it shall be?

There is no man who hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit, neither hath he power in the day of death. And there is no discharge in that war, neither shall wickedness deliver those who are given to it.

All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein a man ruleth over another to his own hurt.

10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This is also vanity.

11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.

13 But it shall not be well with the wicked; neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he feareth not before God.

14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth: that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the works of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the works of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat and to drink and to be merry, for that shall abide with him from his labor the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.

16 When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth (for also is there that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes),

17 then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun, because though a man labor to seek it out, yet shall he not find it; yea further, though even a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

For all this I considered in my heart, even that I might declare all this: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. No man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before him.

All things come alike to all: there is one event that happeneth to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that doth not sacrifice: As is the good, so is the sinner, and he that taketh an oath, as he that feareth an oath.

This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun: that there is one event that happeneth unto all. Yea, also the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live; and after that they go to the dead.

For him that is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Also their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

Let thy garments be always white, and let thy head lack no ointment.

Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which He hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity; for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labor which thou hast done under the sun.

10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest.

11 I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

12 For man also knoweth not his time: As the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time when it falleth suddenly upon them.

13 This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:

14 There was a little city and few men within it. And there came a great king against it, and besieged it and built great bulwarks against it.

15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.

16 Then said I, “Wisdom is better than strength”; nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.

18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroyeth much good.

10 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor; so doth a little folly in him that hath a reputation for wisdom and honor.

A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, but a fool’s heart at his left.

Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh along the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to everyone that he is a fool.

If the ire of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy station; for yielding pacifieth great offenses.

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:

folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in lowly places.

I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh through a hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

Whoso removeth out stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

10 If the ax be blunt and one does not whet the edge, then must he put to it more strength; but wisdom is profitable to direct him.

11 Surely the serpent will bite if not charmed, 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 himself up;

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 labor 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 feast 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 leaks.

19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry; but money answereth all things.

20 Curse not the king, no, not even in thy thoughts, and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber; for a bird of the air shall carry thy 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.

Give a portion to seven and also to eight, for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

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.

He that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not whether either this or that shall prosper, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun;

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.

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”;

while neither the sun nor the light, nor the moon nor the stars be darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain;

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 the eyes that look out of the windows be darkened;

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 a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

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;

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—

then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

“Vanity of vanities,” saith the Preacher. “All is vanity.”

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 master builders, which are given from one Shepherd.

12 And further, my son, by these words be admonished: of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness to 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, including every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.

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