1 Certainly I applied my heart unto all of this that I might declare all of 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 [passes] before them.
2 All [things come] alike to all: [there is] one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean and to the unclean; to him that sacrifices and to him that does not sacrifice: as [unto] the good so [unto] the sinner; [and unto] him that swears as [unto him] that fears the oath.
3 This [is] an evil among all [things] that are done under the sun, that [there is] one event unto all; and also that 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 that is [still] among 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 any thing; neither do they have any more reward, for their memory is placed into oblivion.
6 Even their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished; neither have they any more a portion in the age in any [thing] that is done under the sun.
7 Go, eat thy bread with joy and drink thy wine with a joyful heart that thy works might be acceptable unto God.
8 Thy garments shall always be white, and thy head shall never lack ointment.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou dost love all the days which thou art to live in this lake of vanity, which are given unto thee; all the days of thy vanity under the sun: for that [is] thy portion in [this] life, and in thy labour in which thou dost work under the sun.
10 Whatever thy hand finds to do, do [it] with [all] thy might, for [there is] no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol, where thou goest.
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 prudence, nor yet grace to men of eloquence; but time and chance happens to them all.
12 For man also does not know his time: as the fishes 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 the evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.
13 I have also seen this wisdom under the sun, which is important unto me:
14 [There was] a little city and few men within it; and a great king came against it and 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 one remembered that same poor man.
16 Then I said, Wisdom [is] better than strength: even though the poor man's knowledge [is] despised, and his words are not heard.
17 The words of wise [men are] heard in quiet more than the cry of him that rules among fools.
18 Wisdom [is] better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.: