Ecclesiastes/Qohelet - 9


1Yes, I have applied myself to all this and experienced all this to be so: that is to say, that the upright andthe wise, with their activities, are in the hands of God. We do not understand either love or hate, where we areconcerned, both of them are 2futile. And for all of us is reserved a common fate, for the upright and for the wicked, for the good andfor the bad; whether we are ritually pure or not, whether we offer sacrifice or not: it is the same for the good andfor the sinner, for someone who takes a vow, as for someone who fears to do so. 3This is another evil among those occurring under the sun: that there should be the same fate foreveryone. The human heart, however, is ful of wickedness; fol y lurks in our hearts throughout our lives, until weend among the dead. 4But there is hope for someone stil linked to the rest of the living: better be a live dog than a dead lion. 5The living are at least aware that they are going to die, but the dead know nothing whatever. No morewages for them, since their memory is forgotten. 6Their love, their hate, their jealousy, have perished long since, and they wil never have any further partin what goes on under the sun. 7So, eat your bread in joy, drink your wine with a glad heart, since God has already approved youractions. 8At al times, dress in white and keep your head wel scented. 9Spend your life with the woman you love, all the days of futile life God gives you under the sun,throughout your futile days, since this is your lot in life and in the effort you expend under the sun. 10Whatever work you find to do, do it with al your might, for there is neither achievement, nor planning,nor science, nor wisdom in Sheol where you are going. 11Another thing I have observed under the sun: that the race is not won by the speediest, nor the battleby the champions; it is not the wise who get food, nor the intel igent wealth, nor the learned favour: chance andmischance befall them all. 12We do not know when our time will come: like fish caught in the treacherous net, like birds caught inthe snare, just so are we al trapped by misfortune when it suddenly overtakes us. 13Here is another example of the wisdom I have acquired under the sun and it strikes me as important: 14There was once a smal town, with only a few inhabitants; a mighty king made war on it, laying siege toit and building great siege-works round it. 15But there was in that town a poverty-stricken sage who by his wisdom saved the town. No oneremembered this poor man afterwards. 16So I say: Wisdom is more effective than brute force, but the wisdom of a poor man is not valued: noone listens to what he has to say. 17The calm words of the wise make themselves heard above the shouts of someone commanding anarmy of fools. 18Wisdom is worth more than weapons of war, but a single sin undoes a deal of good.
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