1Better a good name than costly oil, the day of death than the day of birth. 2Better go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting; for to this end everyone comes, let theliving take this to heart. 3Better sadness than laughter: a joyful heart may be concealed behind sad looks. 4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, the heart of fools in the house of gaiety. 5Better attend to the reprimand of the wise than listen to a song sung by a fool. 6For like the crackling of thorns under the cauldron is the laughter of fools: and that too is futile. 7But being oppressed drives a sage mad, and a present corrupts the heart. 8Better the end of a matter than its beginning, better patience than ambition. 9Do not be too easily exasperated, for exasperation dwel s in the heart of fools. 10Do not ask why the past was better than the present, for this is not a question prompted by wisdom. 11Wisdom is as good as a legacy, profitable to those who enjoy the light of the sun. 12For as money protects, so does wisdom, and the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom bestowslife on those who possess her. 13Consider God's creation: who, for instance, can straighten what God has bent? 14When things are going wel , enjoy yourself, and when they are going badly, consider this: God hasdesigned the one no less than the other so that we should take nothing for granted. 15In my futile life, I have seen everything: the upright person perishing in uprightness and the wickedperson surviving in wickedness. 16Do not be upright to excess and do not make yourself unduly wise: why should you destroy yourself? 17Do not be wicked to excess, and do not be a fool: why die before your time? 18It is wise to hold on to one and not let go of the other, since the godfearing wil find both. 19Wisdom makes the wise stronger than a dozen governors in a city. 20No one on earth is sufficiently upright to do good without ever sinning. 21Again, do not listen to all that people say, then you wil not hear your servant abusing you. 22For often, as you very wel know, you have abused others. 23Thanks to wisdom, I have found all this to be true; I resolved to be wise, but this was beyond myreach! 24The past is out of reach, buried deep -- who can discover it? 25But I have reached the point where, having learnt, explored and investigated wisdom and reflection, Irecognise evil as being a form of madness, and fol y as something stupid. 26And I find woman more bitter than Death, she is a snare, her heart is a net, and her arms are chains.The man who is pleasing to God eludes her, but the sinner is captured by her. 27This is what I think, says Qoheleth, having examined one thing after another to draw some conclusion, 28which I am still looking for, although unsuccessful y: one man in a thousand, I may find, but a womanbetter than other women-never. 29This alone is my conclusion: God has created man straightforward, and human artifices are humaninventions.
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