1 A [good] name is better than precious oil, and the day of death, than the day of 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. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made glad. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 5 It is better to hear the rebuke of a wise man, than for a man to hear the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity. 7 Surely oppression makes the wise man foolish, and a bribe destroys the understanding. 8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools. 10 Say thou not, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? For thou do not inquire wisely concerning this. 11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, yea, it is more excellent for those who see the sun. 12 For wisdom is a defense, even as money is a defense. But the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. 13 Consider the work of God. For who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider. Yea, God has made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything after him.
15 All this I have seen in my days of vanity. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs [his life] in his evil-doing. 16 Be not over-righteous, nor show thyself too wise. Why should thou destroy thyself? 17 Do not much wrong, nor be thou a fool. Why should thou die before thy time? 18 It is good that thou should take hold of this, yea, also from that withdraw not thy hand. For he who fears God shall come forth from them all.
19 Wisdom is a strength to the wise man more than ten rulers that are in a city. 20 Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth that does good, and sins not.
21 Also do not take heed to all words that are spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee. 22 For many times also thine own heart knows that thou thyself likewise have cursed others.
23 All this I have proved in wisdom. I said, I will be wise, but it was far from me. 24 That which is, is far off and exceedingly deep. Who can find it out? 25 I turned about, and my heart [was set] to know and to search out, and to seek wisdom and the reason [of things], and to know that wickedness is folly, and that foolishness is madness. 26 And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, [and] whose hands are chains. He who pleases God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her. 27 Behold, I have found this, says the Preacher, [laying] one thing to another, to find out the account, 28 which my soul still seeks, but I have not found: among a thousand I have found one man, but among all those I have not found a woman. 29 Behold, this only I have found: That God made man upright, but they have sought out many contrivances.