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Ecclesiastes 7:5-27

New American Standard Bible

Chapter 7

5 It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise person Than for one to listen to the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility. 7 For oppression makes a wise person look foolish, And a bribe corrupts the heart. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than arrogance of spirit. 9 Do not be eager in your spirit to be angry, For anger resides in the heart of fools. 10 Do not say, 'Why is it that the former days were better than these?' For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. 11 Wisdom along with an inheritance is good, And an advantage to those who see the sun. 12 For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom keeps its possessors alive. 13 Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent?
14 On the day of prosperity be happy, But on the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other So that a person will not discover anything that will come after him.
15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous person who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked person who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16 Do not be excessively righteous, and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked, and do not be foolish. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you grasp one thing while not letting go of the other; for one who fears God comes out with both of them.
19 Wisdom strengthens a wise person more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Indeed, there is not a righteous person on earth who always does good and does not ever sin. 21 Also, do not take seriously all the words which are spoken, so that you do not hear your servant cursing you, 22 for you know that even you have cursed others many times as well.
23 I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, 'I will be wise,' but wisdom was far from me. 24 What has been is remote and very mysterious. Who can discover it? 25 I directed my mind to know and to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of foolishness and the foolishness of insanity. 26 And I discovered as more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.
27 'Behold, I have discovered this,' says the Preacher, 'by adding one thing to another to find an explanation,
King James Version

Chapter 7

5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart. 8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. 10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. 12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. 13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? 14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. 15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness. 16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself? 17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time? 18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all. 19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city. 20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. 21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: 22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.
23 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me. 24 That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out? 25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness: 26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. 27 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:
Christian Standard Bible

Chapter 7

5 It is better to listen to rebuke from a wise person than to listen to the song of fools, 6 for like the crackling of burning thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This too is futile. 7 Surely, the practice of extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the mind. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; a patient spirit is better than a proud spirit. 9 Don't let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools. 10 Don't say, "Why were the former days better than these? " since it is not wise of you to ask this. 11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance and an advantage to those who see the sun, 12 because wisdom is protection as silver is protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner. 13 Consider the work of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that no one can discover anything that will come after him.
15 In my futile life I have seen everything: someone righteous perishes in spite of his righteousness, and someone wicked lives long in spite of his evil. 16 Don't be excessively righteous, and don't be overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself? 17 Don't be excessively wicked, and don't be foolish. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who fears God will end up with both of them.
19 Wisdom makes the wise person stronger than ten rulers of a city. 20 There is certainly no one righteous on the earth who does good and never sins.
21 Don't pay attention to everything people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you, 22 for in your heart you know that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23 I have tested all this by wisdom. I resolved, "I will be wise," but it was beyond me. 24 What exists is beyond reach and very deep. Who can discover it? 25 I turned my thoughts to know, explore, and examine wisdom and an explanation for things, and to know that wickedness is stupidity and folly is madness. 26 And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a trap: her heart a net and her hands chains. The one who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be captured by her. 27 "Look," says the Teacher, "I have discovered this by adding one thing to another to find out the explanation,
New Living Translation

Chapter 7

5 Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool. 6 A fool's laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless.
7 Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart.
8 Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.
9 Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.
10 Don't long for 'the good old days.' This is not wise.
11 Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life. 12 Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.
13 Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked? 14 Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.
15 I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people. 16 So don't be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself? 17 On the other hand, don't be too wicked either. Don't be a fool! Why die before your time? 18 Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes.
19 One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town!
20 Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
21 Don't eavesdrop on others--you may hear your servant curse you. 22 For you know how often you yourself have cursed others.
23 I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, 'I am determined to be wise.' But it didn't work. 24 Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find. 25 I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.
26 I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.
27 'This is my conclusion,' says the Teacher. 'I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle.
English Standard Version

Chapter 7

5 It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity. 7 Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart. 8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart 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.
15 In my vain life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing. 16 Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? 17 Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.
19 Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.
20 Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
21 Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. 22 Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23 All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me. 24 That which has been is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out?
25 I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. 26 And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her. 27 Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things—
New International Version

Chapter 7

5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.
6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.
7 Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10 Do not say, 'Why were the old days better than these?' For it is not wise to ask such questions. 11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun. 12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.
13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? 14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.
15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness. 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself? 17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
19 Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city.
20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. 21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you-- 22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said, 'I am determined to be wise'-- but this was beyond me. 24 Whatever exists is far off and most profound-- who can discover it?
25 So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly. 26 I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.
27 Look,' says the Teacher, 'this is what I have discovered: 'Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things--