1For all this I considered in my heart even to 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 them.2All things come alike to all: there is one event 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 sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.3This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.4For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.6Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.7Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.8Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.9Live 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 labour which thou takest under the sun.10Whatsoever 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.11I 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 favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.12For 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.13This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:14There 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:15Now 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.16Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man' wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.17The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.18Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.
English Standard Version
Death Comes to All
1But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him. (De 33:3; Ec 8:14)2It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. (Job 9:22; Ec 2:14; Zec 5:3; Mal 3:5)3This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. (Ec 1:17; Ec 9:2)4But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.5For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. (Job 14:21; Ps 31:12; Ps 88:5; Ps 88:12; Ec 1:11; Ec 8:10; Isa 26:14)6Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.
Enjoy Life with the One You Love
7Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. (Ec 2:24)8Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head. (Ps 23:5; Re 3:4)9Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. (Ec 2:10; Ec 6:12; Ec 7:15)10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. (Ec 9:5; Ro 12:11; Col 3:23)
Wisdom Better Than Folly
11Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. (1Ki 22:34; 2Ch 20:15; Ec 2:14; Ec 4:1; Ec 4:7; Jer 9:23; Am 2:14; Ro 9:16)12For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them. (Pr 7:23; Pr 29:6; Ec 8:7; Eze 12:13; Ho 7:12; Lu 21:34; 1Th 5:3)13I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me.14There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it.15But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. (2Sa 20:22; Ec 4:13; Ec 9:18)16But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard. (Ec 7:19; Mr 6:2)17The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. (Ec 4:6)18Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good. (Jos 7:1; Ec 9:16)