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New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update

Ecclesiastes 9:1–12:12

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Men Are in the Hand of God

1 For I have taken all this to my heart and explain 1it that righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are ain the hand of God. bMan does not know whether it will be clove or hatred; anything 2awaits him.

2 aIt is the same for all. There is bone fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and for the unclean; for the man who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good man is, so is the sinner; as the swearer is, so is the one who 1is afraid to swear.

3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is aone fate for all men. Furthermore, bthe hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and cinsanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead.

4 For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.

5 For the living know they will die; but the dead ado not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their bmemory is forgotten.

6 Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a ashare in all that is done under the sun.

7 Go then, aeat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.

8 Let your aclothes be white all the time, and let not boil be lacking on your head.

9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your 1afleeting life which He has given to you under the sun2; for this is your breward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

Whatever Your Hand Finds to Do

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, ado it with all your might; for there is no bactivity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in cSheol where you are going.

11 I again saw under the sun that the arace is not to the swift and the bbattle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor cwealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and dchance overtake them all.

12 Moreover, man does not aknow his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and bbirds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are censnared at an evil time when it dsuddenly falls on them.

13 Also this I came to see as wisdom under the sun, and 1it impressed me.

14 There awas a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it.

15 But there was found in it a apoor wise man and he 1delivered the city bby his wisdom. Yet cno one remembered that poor man.

16 So I said, “aWisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded.

17 The awords of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.

18 aWisdom is better than weapons of war, but bone sinner destroys much good.

Chapter 10

A Little Foolishness

1 Dead flies make a aperfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.

2 A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish aman’s heart directs him toward the left.

3 Even when the fool walks along the road, his 1sense is lacking and he 2ademonstrates to everyone that he is a fool.

4 If the ruler’s 1temper rises against you, ado not abandon your position, because bcomposure allays great offenses.

5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like an error which goes forth from the ruler—

6 afolly is set in many exalted places while rich men sit in humble places.

7 I have seen aslaves riding bon horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.

8 aHe who digs a pit may fall into it, and a bserpent may bite him who breaks through a wall.

9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits logs may be endangered by them.

10 If the 1axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must 2exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.

11 If the serpent bites 1abefore being charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.

12 aWords from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a bfool consume him;

13 the beginning of 1his talking is folly and the end of 2it is wicked amadness.

14 Yet the afool multiplies words. No man knows what will happen, and who can tell him bwhat will come after him?

15 The toil of 1a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city.

16 Woe to you, O land, whose aking is a lad and whose princes 1feast in the morning.

17 Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time—for strength and not for adrunkenness.

18 Through aindolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks.

19 Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and awine makes life merry, and bmoney 1is the answer to everything.

20 Furthermore, ain your bedchamber do not bcurse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man, for a bird of the heavens will carry the sound and the winged creature will make the matter known.

Chapter 11

Cast Your Bread on the Waters

1 aCast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you awill find it 1after many days.

2 aDivide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what bmisfortune may occur on the earth.

3 If the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth; and whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it 1lies.

4 He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.

5 Just as you do not aknow 1the path of the wind and bhow bones are formed in the womb of the 2pregnant woman, so you do not cknow the activity of God who makes all things.

6 Sow your seed ain the morning and do not 1be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether 2morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

7 The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to asee the sun.

8 Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him arejoice in them all, and let him remember the bdays of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility.

9 Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the 1impulses of your heart and the 2adesires of your eyes. Yet know that bGod will bring you to judgment for all these things.

10 So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away 1apain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.

Chapter 12

Remember God in Your Youth

1 aRemember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the bevil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”;

2 before the asun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain;

3 in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men astoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and bthose who look through 1windows grow dim;

4 and the doors on the street are shut as the asound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the bdaughters of song will 1sing softly.

5 Furthermore, 1men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal ahome while bmourners go about in the street.

6 Remember Him before the silver cord is 1broken and the agolden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed;

7 then the adust will return to the earth as it was, and the 1bspirit will return to cGod who gave it.

8 “aVanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!”

Purpose of the Preacher

9 In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out and arranged amany proverbs.

10 The Preacher sought to find adelightful words and to write bwords of truth correctly.

11 The awords of wise men are like bgoads, and masters of these collections are like 1well-driven cnails; they are given by one Shepherd.

12 But beyond this, my son, be warned: the 1writing of amany books is endless, and excessive bdevotion to books is wearying to the body.

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