1. Be in no hurry to speak; do not hastily declare yourself before God; for God is in heaven, you on earth. Be sparing, then, of speech:
2. From too much worrying comes illusion, from too much talking, the accents of folly.
3. If you make a vow to God, discharge it without delay, for God has no love for fools. Discharge your vow.
4. Better a vow unmade than made and not discharged.
5. Do not allow your mouth to make a sinner of you, and do not say to the messenger that it was a mistake. Why give God occasion to be angry with you and ruin all the work that you have done?
6. From too many illusions come futility and too much talk. Therefore, fear God.
7. If in a province you see the poor oppressed, fair judgement and justice violated, do not be surprised, for over every official there watches a higher official, and over these, higher officials still.
8. But what the land yields is for the benefit of all, a king is served by the fields.
9. No one who loves money ever has enough, no one who loves luxury has any income; this, too, is futile.
10. Where goods abound, parasites abound: where is the owner's profit, apart from feasting his eyes?
11. The labourer's sleep is sweet, whether he has eaten little or much, but the surfeit of the rich will not let him sleep at all.
12. Something grossly unjust I observe under the sun: riches stored and turning to loss for their owner.
13. An unlucky venture, and those riches are lost; a son is born to him, and he has nothing to leave him.
14. Naked from his mother's womb he came; as naked as he came will he depart; not one of his achievements can he take with him.
15. And something else grossly unjust: that as he came, so must he go; what profit can he show after toiling to earn the wind,
16. as he spends the rest of his days in darkness, mourning, many sorrows, sickness and exasperation.
17. So my conclusion is this: true happiness lies in eating and drinking and enjoying whatever has been achieved under the sun, throughout the life given by God: for this is the lot of humanity.
18. And whenever God gives someone riches and property, with the ability to enjoy them and to find contentment in work, this is a gift from God.
19. For such a person will hardly notice the passing of time, so long as God keeps his heart occupied with joy.