1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
1 A good name exceeds the value of fine perfume, and the day of someone's death exceeds the value of the day of his birth.
1 A good name is better than precious perfume,And the day of one’s death better than the day of one’s birth.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
2 It's better to attend a funeral than to attend a banquet, for everyone dies eventually, and the living will take this to heart.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourningThan to go to the house of feasting,For that [day of death] is the end of every man,And the living will take it to heart and solemnly ponder its meaning.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because the heart is made better through trouble.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
4 The heart of the wise is in a house of mourning,but the heart of fools is in a house of pleasure.
4 For the wise person thinks carefully when in mourning, but fools focus their thoughts on pleasure.
4 The heart of the wise [learns when it] is in the house of mourning,But the heart of fools is [senseless] in the house of pleasure.
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
5 It is better to listen to a wise person's rebuke than to listen to the praise of fools.
5 It is better to listen to the rebuke of the wise man and pursue wisdomThan for one to listen to the song of fools and pursue stupidity.
6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
6 For as thorns burn to heat a pot, so also is the laughter of the fool even this is pointless.
6 For like the crackling of [burning] thorn bushes under a pot,So is the laughter of the fool;And this too is vanity (futility).
7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.
7 Unjust gain makes the wise foolish, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
7 For oppression makes a wise man foolish,And a bribe corrupts the [good judgment of the] heart.
8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
8 The conclusion of something is better than its beginning, and a patient attitude is more valuable than a proud one.
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning;Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit (pride).
9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
9 Never be in a hurry to become internally angry, since anger settles down in the lap of fools.
10 Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.
10 Never ask "Why does the past seem so much better than now?" because this question does not come from wisdom.
10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.
11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritanceand an advantage to those who see the sun,
11 Wise use of possessions is good; it brings benefit to the living.
11 Wisdom along with an inheritance is goodAnd an [excellent] advantage for those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
12 Indeed, wisdom gives protection, just like money does, but it's better to know that wisdom gives life, to those who have mastered it.
12 For wisdom is a protection even as money is a protection,But the [excellent] advantage of knowledge is that wisdom shields and preserves the lives of its possessors.
13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?
13 Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent?
13 Consider the work of God:Who can make straight what He has bent?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
14 When times are good, be joyful; when times are bad, consider this: God made the one as well as the other, so people won't seek anything outside of his best.
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful,But in the day of adversity consider thatGod has made the one as well as the other,So that man will not find out anything that will be after him.
15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.
15 I have seen it all during my pointless life: both a righteous person who dies while he is righteous, and a wicked person who lives to an old age, while remaining wicked.
16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
16 Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise. Why be self-destructive?
16 Do not be excessively righteous [like those given to self-conceit], and do not be overly wise (pretentious)—why should you bring yourself to ruin?
17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?
17 Do not excel at wickedness, nor be a fool. Why die before your time?
17 Do not be excessively or willfully wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?
18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.
18 It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who fears God will end up with both of them.
18 It is good for you to grab hold of this and not let go, because whoever fears God will escape all of these extremes.
18 It is good that you take hold of one thing (righteousness) and also not let go of the other (wisdom); for the one who fears and worships God [with awe-filled reverence] will come forth with both of them.
19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.
19 Wisdom given as strength to a wise person is better than having ten powerful men in the city.
20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
20 For there is not a single righteous man on earth who practices good and does not sin.
21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:
21 Don't listen to everything that is spoken you may hear your servant cursing you,
21 Also, do not take seriously everything that is said, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you,
22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.
22 for you know that many times you yourself have cursed others.
22 since you also know how often you have cursed others.
22 for you also know that you too have cursed others many times.
23 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.
23 I have tested all this by wisdom. I resolved, “I will be wise,” but it was beyond me.
23 I used my wisdom to test all of this. I said, "I want to be wise," but it was beyond me.
23 I have tested all this with wisdom. I said, “I will be wise [independently of God],” but true wisdom was far from me.
24 That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?
24 Whatever it is, it's far off and most profound. Who can attain it?
25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:
25 I committed myself to understand, to learn, to search for wisdom and explanations, and to understand both the evil that is foolishness and the stupidity that is delusion.
25 I turned around and directed my heart to know, to investigate and to seek [skillful and godly] wisdom and the reason for things, and to know that wickedness is folly and that foolishness is madness [leading to stupidity and recklessness].
26 And I discovered more (AK)bitter than death the woman whose heart is (AL)snares and nets, whose hands are chains. (AM)One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but (AN)the sinner will be captured by her.
26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.
26 I discovered for myself a bitterness that surpasses that of death: the woman whose heart is full of snares and nets, whose hands are chains of bondage. Whoever pleases God will escape from her, but the transgressor will be trapped by her.
26 And I discovered that [of all irrational sins none has been so destructive in beguiling one away from God as immoral women for] more bitter than death is the woman whose heart is [composed of] snares and nets, and whose hands are chains. Whoever pleases God will escape from her, but the sinner will be taken captive by her [evil].
27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation,
27 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:
27 “Look,” says the Teacher, “I have discovered this by adding one thing to another to find out the explanation,
27 "Look at this," says the Teacher. "Linking one thing to another, I reached this conclusion:
27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “while adding one thing to another to find an explanation,
28 Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.
28 Among the things I seek but have not found: one man among a thousand I did find, but I have not found one woman to be wise among all these.
29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
29 I have discovered only this: God made human beings for righteousness, but they seek many alternatives."
29 Behold, I have found only this [as a reason]: God made man upright and uncorrupted, but they [both men and women] have sought out many devices [for evil].”
Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.
International Standard Version Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation.
New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org