Wisdom and Folly
10 Dead[a] flies [b]putrefy the perfumer’s ointment,
And cause it to give off a foul odor;
So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.
2 A wise man’s heart is at his right hand,
But a fool’s heart at his left.
3 Even when a fool walks along the way,
He lacks wisdom,
(A)And he shows everyone that he is a fool.
4 If the spirit of the ruler rises against you,
(B)Do not leave your post;
For (C)conciliation[c] pacifies great offenses.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
As an error proceeding from the ruler:
6 (D)Folly is set in [d]great dignity,
While the rich sit in a lowly place.
7 I have seen servants (E)on horses,
While princes walk on the ground like servants.
8 (F)He who digs a pit will fall into it,
And whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.
9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them,
And he who splits wood may be endangered by it.
10 If the ax is dull,
And one does not sharpen the edge,
Then he must use more strength;
But wisdom [e]brings success.
11 A serpent may bite (G)when it is not charmed;
The [f]babbler is no different.
12 (H)The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious,
But (I)the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;
13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness,
And the end of his talk is raving madness.
14 (J)A fool also multiplies words.
No man knows what is to be;
Who can tell him (K)what will be after him?
15 The labor of fools wearies them,
For they do not even know how to go to the city!
16 (L)Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child,
And your princes feast in the morning!
17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles,
And your (M)princes feast at the proper time—
For strength and not for drunkenness!
18 Because of laziness the [g]building decays,
And (N)through idleness of hands the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter,
And (O)wine makes merry;
But money answers everything.
20 (P)Do not curse the king, even in your thought;
Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom;
For a bird of the air may carry your voice,
And a bird in flight may tell the matter.
The Value of Diligence
3 If the clouds are full of rain,
They empty themselves upon the earth;
And if a tree falls to the south or the north,
In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.
4 He who observes the wind will not sow,
And he who regards the clouds will not reap.
5 As (V)you do not know what is the way of the [h]wind,
(W)Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child,
So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
6 In the morning sow your seed,
And in the evening do not withhold your hand;
For you do not know which will prosper,
Either this or that,
Or whether both alike will be good.
7 Truly the light is sweet,
And it is pleasant for the eyes (X)to behold the sun;
8 But if a man lives many years
And (Y)rejoices in them all,
Yet let him (Z)remember the days of darkness,
For they will be many.
All that is coming is vanity.
Seek God in Early Life
9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;
(AA)Walk in the [i]ways of your heart,
And [j]in the sight of your eyes;
But know that for all these
(AB)God will bring you into judgment.
10 Therefore remove [k]sorrow from your heart,
And (AC)put away evil from your flesh,
(AD)For childhood and [l]youth are vanity.
Seek God in Early Life
12 Remember(AE) now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the [m]difficult days come,
And the years draw near (AF)when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:
2 While the sun and the light,
The moon and the stars,
Are not darkened,
And the clouds do not return after the rain;
3 In the day when the keepers of the house tremble,
And the strong men bow down;
When the grinders cease because they are few,
And those that look through the windows grow dim;
4 When the doors are shut in the streets,
And the sound of grinding is low;
When one rises up at the sound of a bird,
And all (AG)the daughters of music are brought low.
5 Also they are afraid of height,
And of terrors in the way;
When the almond tree blossoms,
The grasshopper is a burden,
And desire fails.
For man goes to (AH)his eternal home,
And (AI)the mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is [n]loosed,
Or the golden bowl is broken,
Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,
Or the wheel broken at the well.
7 (AJ)Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
(AK)And the spirit will return to God (AL)who gave it.
8 “Vanity(AM) of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“All is vanity.”
The Whole Duty of Man
9 And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and (AN)set[o] in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find [p]acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of [q]scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. 12 And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and (AO)much study is wearisome to the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
To the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 (C)who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us (D)from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Only One Gospel
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon (E)from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 (F)which is not another; but there are some (G)who trouble you and want to (H)pervert[a] the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if (I)we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be [b]accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you (J)than what you have received, let him be accursed.
Call to Apostleship(N)
11 (O)But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For (P)I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came (Q)through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how (R)I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and (S)tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, (T)being more exceedingly zealous (U)for the traditions of my fathers.
15 But when it pleased God, (V)who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 (W)to reveal His Son in me, that (X)I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with (Y)flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Contacts at Jerusalem(Z)
18 Then after three years (AA)I went up to Jerusalem to see [c]Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But (AB)I saw none of the other apostles except (AC)James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)
21 (AD)Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which (AE)were in Christ. 23 But they were (AF)hearing only, “He who formerly (AG)persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they (AH)glorified God in me.