Bible Gateway Old/New Testament Reading Plan (NKJV) 2018-09-21T00:00:00-05:00 Powered by Bible Gateway Old/New Testament Reading for Friday September 21, 2018 (NKJV)

Ecclesiastes 7-9

The Value of Practical Wisdom

A (A)good name is better than precious ointment,
And the day of death than the day of one’s (B)birth;
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 take it to (C)heart.
[a]Sorrow is better than laughter,
(D)For by a sad countenance the heart is made [b]better.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

(E)It is better to [c]hear the rebuke of the wise
Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
(F)For like the [d]crackling of thorns under a pot,
So is the laughter of the fool.
This also is vanity.
Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason,
(G)And a bribe [e]debases the heart.

The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
(H)The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
(I)Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
For anger rests in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say,
“Why were the former days better than these?”
For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.

11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
And profitable (J)to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom is [f]a (K)defense as money is a defense,
But the [g]excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives (L)life to those who have it.

13 Consider the work of God;
For (M)who can make straight what He has made crooked?
14 (N)In the day of prosperity be joyful,
But in the day of adversity consider:
Surely God has appointed the one [h]as well as the other,
So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.

15 I have seen everything in my days of vanity:

(O)There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness,
And there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.

16 (P)Do not be overly righteous,
(Q)Nor be overly wise:
Why should you destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overly wicked,
Nor be foolish:
(R)Why should you die before your time?
18 It is good that you grasp this,
And also not remove your hand from the other;
For he who (S)fears God will [i]escape them all.

19 (T)Wisdom strengthens the wise
More than ten rulers of the city.

20 (U)For there is not a just man on earth who does good
And does not sin.

21 Also do not take to heart everything people say,
Lest you hear your servant cursing you.
22 For many times, also, your own heart has known
That even you have cursed others.

23 All this I have [j]proved by wisdom.
(V)I said, “I will be wise”;
But it was far from me.
24 (W)As for that which is far off and (X)exceedingly deep,
Who can find it out?
25 (Y)I applied my heart to know,
To search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things,
To know the wickedness of folly,
Even of foolishness and madness.
26 (Z)And I find more bitter than death
The woman whose heart is snares and nets,
Whose hands are fetters.
[k]He who pleases God shall escape from her,
But the sinner shall be trapped by her.

27 “Here is what I have found,” says (AA)the Preacher,
Adding one thing to the other to find out the reason,
28 Which my soul still seeks but I cannot find:
(AB)One man among a thousand I have found,
But a woman among all these I have not found.
29 Truly, this only I have found:
(AC)That God made man upright,
But (AD)they have sought out many schemes.”

Obey Authorities for God’s Sake

Who is like a wise man?
And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
(AE)A man’s wisdom makes his face shine,
And (AF)the [l]sternness of his face is changed.

Obey Authorities for God’s Sake

I say, “Keep the king’s commandment (AG)for the sake of your oath to God. (AH)Do not be hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him.”

Where the word of a king is, there is power;
And (AI)who may say to him, “What are you doing?”
He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful;
And a wise man’s heart [m]discerns both time and judgment,
Because (AJ)for every matter there is a time and judgment,
Though the misery of man [n]increases greatly.
(AK)For he does not know what will happen;
So who can tell him when it will occur?
(AL)No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit,
And no one has power in the day of death.
There is (AM)no release from that war,
And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.

All this I have seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: There is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.

Death Comes to All

10 Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were (AN)forgotten[o] in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity. 11 (AO)Because the 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 (AP)Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that (AQ)it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.

14 There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it (AR)happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the (AS)righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

15 (AT)So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.

16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night, 17 then I saw all the work of God, that (AU)a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.

Death Comes to All

For I [p]considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: (AV)that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them. (AW)All things come alike to all:

One event happens to the righteous and the wicked;
To the [q]good, the clean, and the unclean;
To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice.
As is the good, so is the sinner;
He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.

This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. But for him who 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 will die;
But (AX)the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward,
For (AY)the memory of them is forgotten.
Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share
In anything done under the sun.

Go, (AZ)eat your bread with joy,
And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works.
Let your garments always be white,
And let your head lack no oil.

[r]Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; (BA)for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.

10 (BB)Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your (BC)might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

11 I returned (BD)and saw under the sun that—

The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and (BE)chance happen to them all.
12 For (BF)man also does not know his time:
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are (BG)snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them.

Wisdom Superior to Folly

13 This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me: 14 (BH)There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great [s]snares around it. 15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man.

16 Then I said:

“Wisdom is better than (BI)strength.
Nevertheless (BJ)the poor man’s wisdom is despised,
And his words are not heard.
17 Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard
Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war;
But (BK)one sinner destroys much good.”


  1. Ecclesiastes 7:3 Vexation or Grief
  2. Ecclesiastes 7:3 well or pleasing
  3. Ecclesiastes 7:5 listen to
  4. Ecclesiastes 7:6 Lit. sound
  5. Ecclesiastes 7:7 destroys
  6. Ecclesiastes 7:12 A protective shade, lit. shadow
  7. Ecclesiastes 7:12 advantage or profit
  8. Ecclesiastes 7:14 alongside
  9. Ecclesiastes 7:18 Lit. come forth from all of them
  10. Ecclesiastes 7:23 tested
  11. Ecclesiastes 7:26 Lit. He who is good before God
  12. Ecclesiastes 8:1 Lit. strength
  13. Ecclesiastes 8:5 Lit. knows
  14. Ecclesiastes 8:6 is great upon him
  15. Ecclesiastes 8:10 Some Heb. mss., LXX, Vg. praised
  16. Ecclesiastes 9:1 Lit. put
  17. Ecclesiastes 9:2 LXX, Syr., Vg. good and bad,
  18. Ecclesiastes 9:9 Lit. See life
  19. Ecclesiastes 9:14 LXX, Syr., Vg. bulwarks

Cross references:

  1. Ecclesiastes 7:1 : Prov. 22:1
  2. Ecclesiastes 7:1 : Eccl. 4:2
  3. Ecclesiastes 7:2 : [Ps. 90:12]
  4. Ecclesiastes 7:3 : [2 Cor. 7:10]
  5. Ecclesiastes 7:5 : Ps. 141:5; [Prov. 13:18; 15:31, 32]
  6. Ecclesiastes 7:6 : Eccl. 2:2
  7. Ecclesiastes 7:7 : Ex. 23:8; Deut. 16:19; [Prov. 17:8, 23]
  8. Ecclesiastes 7:8 : Prov. 14:29; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 4:2
  9. Ecclesiastes 7:9 : Prov. 14:17; James 1:19
  10. Ecclesiastes 7:11 : Eccl. 11:7
  11. Ecclesiastes 7:12 : Eccl. 9:18
  12. Ecclesiastes 7:12 : Prov. 3:18
  13. Ecclesiastes 7:13 : Job 12:14
  14. Ecclesiastes 7:14 : Deut. 28:47
  15. Ecclesiastes 7:15 : Eccl. 8:12–14
  16. Ecclesiastes 7:16 : Prov. 25:16; Phil. 3:6
  17. Ecclesiastes 7:16 : Rom. 12:3
  18. Ecclesiastes 7:17 : Job 15:32; Ps. 55:23
  19. Ecclesiastes 7:18 : Eccl. 3:14; 5:7; 8:12, 13
  20. Ecclesiastes 7:19 : Prov. 21:22; Eccl. 9:13–18
  21. Ecclesiastes 7:20 : 1 Kin. 8:46; 2 Chr. 6:36; Prov. 20:9; Rom. 3:23; 1 John 1:8
  22. Ecclesiastes 7:23 : Rom. 1:22
  23. Ecclesiastes 7:24 : Job 28:12; 1 Tim. 6:16
  24. Ecclesiastes 7:24 : Rom. 11:33
  25. Ecclesiastes 7:25 : Eccl. 1:17
  26. Ecclesiastes 7:26 : Prov. 5:3, 4
  27. Ecclesiastes 7:27 : Eccl. 1:1, 2
  28. Ecclesiastes 7:28 : Job 33:23
  29. Ecclesiastes 7:29 : Gen. 1:27
  30. Ecclesiastes 7:29 : Gen. 3:6, 7
  31. Ecclesiastes 8:1 : Prov. 4:8, 9; Acts 6:15
  32. Ecclesiastes 8:1 : Deut. 28:50
  33. Ecclesiastes 8:2 : Ex. 22:11; 2 Sam. 21:7; 1 Chr. 29:24; Ezek. 17:18; [Rom. 13:5]
  34. Ecclesiastes 8:3 : Eccl. 10:4
  35. Ecclesiastes 8:4 : 1 Sam. 13:11, 13; Job 34:18
  36. Ecclesiastes 8:6 : Eccl. 3:1, 17
  37. Ecclesiastes 8:7 : Prov. 24:22; Eccl. 6:12
  38. Ecclesiastes 8:8 : Ps. 49:6, 7; Job 14:5
  39. Ecclesiastes 8:8 : Deut. 20:5–8
  40. Ecclesiastes 8:10 : Eccl. 2:16; 9:5
  41. Ecclesiastes 8:11 : Ps. 10:6; 50:21; Is. 26:10
  42. Ecclesiastes 8:12 : Is. 65:20; [Rom. 2:5–7]
  43. Ecclesiastes 8:12 : [Deut. 4:40; Ps. 37:11, 18, 19; Prov. 1:32, 33; Is. 3:10; Matt. 25:34, 41]
  44. Ecclesiastes 8:14 : Ps. 73:14
  45. Ecclesiastes 8:14 : Eccl. 2:14; 7:15; 9:1–3
  46. Ecclesiastes 8:15 : Eccl. 2:24
  47. Ecclesiastes 8:17 : Job 5:9; Ps. 73:16; Eccl. 3:11; Rom. 11:33
  48. Ecclesiastes 9:1 : Deut. 33:3; Job 12:10; Eccl. 8:14
  49. Ecclesiastes 9:2 : Gen. 3:17–19; Job 21:7; Ps. 73:3, 12, 13; Mal. 3:15
  50. Ecclesiastes 9:5 : Job 14:21; Is. 63:16
  51. Ecclesiastes 9:5 : Job 7:8–10; Eccl. 1:11; 2:16; 8:10; Is. 26:14
  52. Ecclesiastes 9:7 : Eccl. 8:15
  53. Ecclesiastes 9:9 : Eccl. 2:10
  54. Ecclesiastes 9:10 : [Col. 3:17]
  55. Ecclesiastes 9:10 : Rom. 12:11; Col. 3:23
  56. Ecclesiastes 9:11 : Jer. 9:23; Amos 2:14, 15
  57. Ecclesiastes 9:11 : 1 Sam. 6:9
  58. Ecclesiastes 9:12 : Eccl. 8:7
  59. Ecclesiastes 9:12 : Prov. 29:6; Luke 12:20, 39; 17:26; 1 Thess. 5:3
  60. Ecclesiastes 9:14 : 2 Sam. 20:16–22
  61. Ecclesiastes 9:16 : Eccl. 7:12, 19
  62. Ecclesiastes 9:16 : Mark 6:2, 3
  63. Ecclesiastes 9:18 : Josh. 7:1–26; 2 Kin. 21:2–17
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Corinthians 13

Coming with Authority

13 This will be (A)the third time I am coming to you. (B)“By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” (C)I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent [a]I write to those (D)who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again (E)I will not spare— since you seek a proof of Christ (F)speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty (G)in you. (H)For though He was crucified in weakness, yet (I)He lives by the power of God. For (J)we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, (K)that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you [b]are (L)disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.

Paul Prefers Gentleness

Now [c]I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though (M)we may seem disqualified. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad (N)when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, (O)that you may be made complete. 10 (P)Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the (Q)authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.

Greetings and Benediction

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. (R)Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love (S)and peace will be with you.

12 (T)Greet one another with a holy kiss.

13 All the saints greet you.

14 (U)The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and (V)the [d]communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.


  1. 2 Corinthians 13:2 NU omits I write
  2. 2 Corinthians 13:5 do not stand the test
  3. 2 Corinthians 13:7 NU we
  4. 2 Corinthians 13:14 fellowship
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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