1For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God, people do not know whether it is love or hatred; everything is ahead of them.
2It is the same for all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked, to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices and to him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath as he who is afraid to take an oath.
3This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event to all: and also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that—to the dead!
4For whoever is united with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a wage, for even the memory of them is forgotten.
6Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, have already perished, and they do not have any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.
7Go and eat your bread with pleasure and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already accepted your works!
8Let your garments be always white, and do not let oil be lacking from your head.
9Enjoy life with the wife whom you have loved all the days of your pointless life that he has given you under the sun, all your days of pointlessness, for that is your portion in life and in your labor in which you labor under the sun.
10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, or planning, or knowledge, or wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going.
11Then I turned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor is the battle to the strong, and also, the wise do not have bread, nor do people of understanding have riches, nor does favor come to people of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.
12Indeed, man does not know his time. Like the fish that are taken in an evil net and like the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men ensnared in an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.
13Also in this I have seen wisdom under the sun, and it made a great impression on me:
14There was a little city and few people in it, and a great king surrounded it and built great siegeworks against it.
15But there was found in it a poor wise man, and by his wisdom he delivered the city; yet no one remembered that poor man.
16Then I said, “Wisdom is better than strength, but the poor man’s wisdom is treated with contempt and his words are not heeded.
17The quiet words of the wise should be heeded rather than the shouting of a ruler among fools.
18Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.