1 I considered all this in my heart and declared that the righteous and their works are in the hand of God. No man knows if love or hatred awaits him in the future.
2 The same thing comes 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 is the good, so is the sinner; and he that swears, as he that fears and refrains from an oath.
3 This evil is in all things that are done under the sun. There is one event that comes to all. The heart of the sons of men is full of evil. Madness is in their heart while they live. After that they go to the dead die.
4 Whoever is joined to all the living has hope. A living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 The living know that they will die! The dead do not know anything. They do not have any more reward. Their memory is forgotten.
6 Their love, their hatred, and their envy, is now gone, perished! They do not share anything that is done under the sun.
7 Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart for God now accepts your works.
8 Let your garments be always white; and let your head lack no ointment.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of the life he has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity. That is your share in this life and in your labor under the sun.
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you are going.
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift. The battle is not to the strong. Bread does not go to the wise, or riches to men of understanding. Men of skill do not always receive favor, but time and unexpected circumstance happens to them all.
12 For man does not know his time. Like fish caught in an evil net, and like birds caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.
13 I have seen this wisdom under the sun, and it seemed important to me.
14 There was a little city with a small population. A great king moved against it. He built great bulwarks against it and attacked it.
15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man. By his wisdom he delivered the city. Yet no man remembered that same poor man.
16 Then I said: »Wisdom is better than strength.« Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
17 The words of the wise heard in quietness are more than the loud cry of the ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, yet one sinner destroys much good.