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Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

A Disillusioned View of Life

A good name is better than precious ointment;
    and the day of death, than the day of birth.
It is better to go to the house of mourning
    than to go to the house of feasting;
for this is the end of all men,
    and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
    for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad.
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 for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise
    than to hear the song of fools.
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot,
    so is the laughter of the fools;
    this also is vanity.
Surely oppression makes the wise man foolish,
    and a bribe corrupts the mind.
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning;
    and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Be not quick to anger,
    for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
10 Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
    For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
    an advantage to those who see the sun.
12 For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money;
    and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
13 Consider the work of God;
    who can make straight what he has made crooked?

14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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