Ecclesiastes 7

1It is better to have a good name ˻(respect)˼ than good perfume. The day a person dies is even better than the day he is born. 2It is even better to go to a funeral than to a party. Why? Because all people must die, and every person alive should accept this. 3Sorrow is even better than laughter. Why? Because when our face is sad, our heart becomes good. 4A wise person thinks about death, but a foolish person thinks only about having a good time. 5It is better to be criticized by a wise man than to be praised by a foolish person. 6The laughter of fools is such a waste. It is like thorns burning under a pot. ˻The thorns burn up so fast, that the pot does not get hot.˼ 7Even a wise man will forget his wisdom, if someone pays him enough money. That money destroys his understanding. 8It is better to finish something than to start it. It is better to be gentle and patient than to be proud and impatient. 9Don’t become angry quickly. Why? Because being angry is foolish. 10Don’t say, ”Life was better in the 'good old days.’ What happened?” Wisdom doesn’t lead us to ask that question. 11Wisdom is better if you also have property. Really, wise people will get more than enough wealth. 12Wisdom and money can protect you. But knowledge gained through wisdom is even better—it can save your life! 13Look at the things God has made. You can’t change a thing, even if you think it is wrong! 14When life is good, enjoy it. But when life is hard, remember that God gives us good times and hard times. And no one knows what will happen in the future. 15In my short life, I have seen everything. I have seen good men die young. And I have seen evil men living long lives. 16- 17So why kill yourself? Don’t be too good or too bad. And don’t be too wise or too foolish. Why should you die before your time? 18Try to be a little of this and a little of that. Even God’s followers will do some good things and some bad things. 19- 20Surely there is not a good man on earth that always does good and never sins. Wisdom gives a person strength. One wise man is stronger than ten ˻foolish˼ leaders in a city. 21Don’t listen to all the things people say. You might hear your own servant saying bad things about you. 22And you know that many times you too have said bad things about other people. 23I used my wisdom and thought about all these things. I wanted to be truly wise. But it was impossible. 24I can’t understand why things are like they are. It is too hard for anyone to understand. 25I studied and I tried very hard to find true wisdom. I tried to find a reason for everything. ˻What did I learn?˼ I learned that it is foolish to be evil, and it is crazy to act like a foolish person. 26I also found that ˻some women are dangerous like traps˼. Their hearts are like nets, and their arms are like chains. It is worse than death to be caught by those women. A person that follows God will run away from those women. But a sinner will be caught by them. 27- 28The Teacher says, “I added all these things together to see what answer I could find. I am still looking for answers. But I did find this: I found one ˻good˼ man in a thousand. But I did not find even one ˻good˼ woman. 29“There is one other thing I have learned: God made people good. But people found many ways to be bad.”

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