1 Certainly I applied my heart unto all of this that I might declare all of this: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God; no man knows either love or hatred by all that passes before them. 2 All things come alike 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 unto the good so unto the sinner; and unto him that swears as unto him that fears the oath. 3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all; and also that the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4 For to him that is still among the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they shall die, but the dead do not know any thing; neither do they have any more reward, for their memory is placed into oblivion. 6 Even their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished; neither have they any more a portion in the age in any thing that is done under the sun.
7 Go, eat thy bread with joy and drink thy wine with a joyful heart that thy works might be acceptable unto God. 8 Thy garments shall always be white, and thy head shall never lack ointment. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou dost love all the days which thou art to live in this lake of vanity, which are given unto thee; all the days of thy vanity under the sun: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour in which thou dost work under the sun. 10 Whatever thy hand finds to do, do it with all thy might, for there is no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol, where thou goest.
11 I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of prudence, nor yet grace to men of eloquence; but time and chance happens to them all. 12 For man also does not know his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net and as the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in the evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.
13 I have also seen this wisdom under the sun, which is important unto me: 14 There was a little city and few men within it; and a great king came against it and besieged it and built great bulwarks against it; 15 now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no one remembered that same poor man. 16 Then I said, Wisdom is better than strength: even though the poor man's knowledge is despised, and his words are not heard.