1. Better a good name than costly oil, the day of death than the day of birth.
2. Better go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting; for to this end everyone comes, let the living take this to heart.
3. Better sadness than laughter: a joyful heart may be concealed behind sad looks.
4. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, the heart of fools in the house of gaiety.
5. Better attend to the reprimand of the wise than listen to a song sung by a fool.
6. For like the crackling of thorns under the cauldron is the laughter of fools: and that too is futile.
7. But being oppressed drives a sage mad, and a present corrupts the heart.
8. Better the end of a matter than its beginning, better patience than ambition.
9. Do not be too easily exasperated, for exasperation dwells in the heart of fools.
10. Do not ask why the past was better than the present, for this is not a question prompted by wisdom.
11. Wisdom is as good as a legacy, profitable to those who enjoy the light of the sun.
12. For as money protects, so does wisdom, and the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom bestows life on those who possess her.
13. Consider God's creation: who, for instance, can straighten what God has bent?
14. When things are going well, enjoy yourself, and when they are going badly, consider this: God has designed the one no less than the other so that we should take nothing for granted.
15. In my futile life, I have seen everything: the upright person perishing in uprightness and the wicked person surviving in wickedness.
16. Do not be upright to excess and do not make yourself unduly wise: why should you destroy yourself?
17. Do not be wicked to excess, and do not be a fool: why die before your time?
18. It is wise to hold on to one and not let go of the other, since the godfearing will find both.
19. Wisdom makes the wise stronger than a dozen governors in a city.
20. No one on earth is sufficiently upright to do good without ever sinning.
21. Again, do not listen to all that people say, then you will not hear your servant abusing you.
22. For often, as you very well know, you have abused others.
23. Thanks to wisdom, I have found all this to be true; I resolved to be wise, but this was beyond my reach!
24. The past is out of reach, buried deep -- who can discover it?
25. But I have reached the point where, having learnt, explored and investigated wisdom and reflection, I recognise evil as being a form of madness, and folly as something stupid.
26. And I find woman more bitter than Death, she is a snare, her heart is a net, and her arms are chains. The man who is pleasing to God eludes her, but the sinner is captured by her.
27. This is what I think, says Qoheleth, having examined one thing after another to draw some conclusion,
28. which I am still looking for, although unsuccessfully: one man in a thousand, I may find, but a woman better than other women-never.
29. This alone is my conclusion: God has created man straightforward, and human artifices are human inventions.