1. Yes, I have applied myself to all this and experienced all this to be so: that is to say, that the upright and the wise, with their activities, are in the hands of God. We do not understand either love or hate, where we are concerned, both of them are futile. And for all of us is reserved a common fate, for the upright and for the wicked, for the food and for the bad; whether we are ritually pure or not, whether we offer sacrifice or not: it is the same for the good and for the sinner, for someone who takes a vow, as for someone who fears to do so.
2. futile. And for all of us is reserved a common fate, for the upright and for the wicked, for the good and for the bad; whether we are ritually pure or not, whether we offer sacrifice or not: it is the same for the good and for the sinner, for someone who takes a vow, as for someone who fears to do so.
3. This is another evil among those occurring under the sun: that there should be the same fate for everyone. The human heart, however, is full of wickedness; folly lurks in our hearts throughout our lives, until we end among the dead.
4. But there is hope for someone still linked to the rest of the living: better be a live dog than a dead lion.
5. The living are at least aware that they are going to die, but the dead know nothing whatever. No more wages for them, since their memory is forgotten.
6. Their love, their hate, their jealousy, have perished long since, and they will never have any further part in what goes on under the sun.
7. So, eat your bread in joy, drink your wine with a glad heart, since God has already approved your actions.
8. At all times, dress in white and keep your head well scented.
9. Spend your life with the woman you love, all the days of futile life God gives you under the sun, throughout your futile days, since this is your lot in life and in the effort you expend under the sun.
10. Whatever work you find to do, do it with all your might, for there is neither achievement, nor planning, nor science, nor wisdom in Sheol where you are going.
11. Another thing I have observed under the sun: that the race is not won by the speediest, nor the battle by the champions; it is not the wise who get food, nor the intelligent wealth, nor the learned favour: chance and mischance befall them all.
12. We do not know when our time will come: like fish caught in the treacherous net, like birds caught in the snare, just so are we all trapped by misfortune when it suddenly overtakes us.
13. Here is another example of the wisdom I have acquired under the sun and it strikes me as important:
14. There was once a small town, with only a few inhabitants; a mighty king made war on it, laying siege to it and building great siege-works round it.
15. But there was in that town a poverty-stricken sage who by his wisdom saved the town. No one remembered this poor man afterwards.
16. So I say: Wisdom is more effective than brute force, but the wisdom of a poor man is not valued: no one listens to what he has to say.
17. The calm words of the wise make themselves heard above the shouts of someone commanding an army of fools.
18. Wisdom is worth more than weapons of war, but a single sin undoes a deal of good.