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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 9

Like things happen to good and bad, 1-3. There is a necessity of death to men, 4-6. Comfort is all their portion in this life, 7-10. God's providence rules over all, 11, 12. Wisdom is better than strength, 13-18.

1 For 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 knows either love or hatred by all that is before them.

2 All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous, to the wicked, to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices, and to him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner. As is he who swears, so is he who fears an oath. 3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all. 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. 4 For to him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they shall die, but the dead do not know anything, neither do they have anymore a reward, for their memory is forgotten. 6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy has now perished, neither do they have anymore a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.

7 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God now accepts your works. 8 Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no ointment. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of the life of your vanity, which he has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity, for that is your portion in this life and in your labor which you take under the sun.

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave where you go.

11 I 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 favor to men of skill, but time and chance happens to them all. 12 For man also does not know his time. As the fish 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 falls suddenly upon them.

13 This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed to me great: 14 There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it. 15 Now 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. 16 Then I said, "Wisdom is better than strength." Nevertheless, the poor man's wisdom is despised and his words are not heard. 17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him who rules among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.