1 For all this I took to heart, even to make all this clear, 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 is before them. 2 All happens 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 who sacrifices, and to him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner. He who swears is as he who fears an oath. 3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all. Yea, also 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 whoever is chosen, to all those 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 anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for their memory is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; nor do they any longer have a part forever in all that is done under the sun.
7 Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God now is pleased with your works. 8 Let your garments be always white; and let your head lack no ointment. 9 Look on life with the wife whom you love all the days of the life of your vanity, which He has given you under the sun, all the days of your vanity. For that is your share in this life, and in your labor which you labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor plan, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave where you go.
11 I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; 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 an evil time, when it falls suddenly on them.
13 This wisdom I have seen also under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14 There was a little city, and few men in it; and a great king came against it and besieged it, and built huge bulwarks against it. 15 And a poor wise man was found in it, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that poor man. 16 And I said, Wisdom is better than strength; but the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.