1 A good name is better than fine perfume, ¶ and the day of death better than the day of birth.
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, ¶ for death is the destiny of everyone; ¶ the living should take this to heart.
3 Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.
6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. ¶ This too is meaningless.
7 Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, ¶ and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, ¶ and patience is better than pride.
9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10 Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" ¶ For it is not wise to ask such questions.
11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing ¶ and benefits those who see the sun.
12 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, ¶ but the advantage of knowledge is this: ¶ Wisdom preserves those who have it.
13 Consider what God has done: ¶ Who can straighten ¶ what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: ¶ God has made the one ¶ as well as the other. ¶ Therefore, no one can discover ¶ anything about their future.
15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: ¶ the righteous perishing in their righteousness, ¶ and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise — ¶ why destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool — ¶ why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. ¶ Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes. [^1]
19 Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful ¶ than ten rulers in a city.
20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, ¶ no one who does what is right and never sins.
21 Do not pay attention to every word people say, ¶ or you may hear your servant cursing you —
22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said, ¶ "I am determined to be wise" — ¶ but this was beyond me.
24 Whatever exists is far off and most profound — who can discover it?
25 So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things ¶ and to understand the stupidity of wickedness ¶ and the madness of folly.
26 I find more bitter than death ¶ the woman who is a snare, ¶ whose heart is a trap ¶ and whose hands are chains. ¶ The man who pleases God will escape her, ¶ but the sinner she will ensnare.
27 "Look," says the Teacher, [^2] "this is what I have discovered: ¶ "Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things —
28 while I was still searching ¶ but not finding — ¶ I found one upright man among a thousand, ¶ but not one upright woman among them all.
29 This only have I found: God created mankind upright, ¶ but they have gone in search of many schemes."