1A good name is better than precious ointment and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.2It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.3Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made whole.4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.5It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.6The laughter of the fool is as the crackling of thorns under a pot, and this also (the laughter or prosperity of the fool) is vanity.
7Surely oppression makes a wise man mad, and a gift destroys the heart.8Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and he who has suffered in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.9Do not be hasty in thy spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.10Never say, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.
11Knowledge is good with an inheritance and is the excellency of those that see the sun.12For knowledge is a defence, and money is a defence; but wisdom excels in that it gives life to those that have it.13Consider the work of God; for who can make straight that which he has twisted?14In the day of good enjoy that which is good, but in the day of adversity open your eyes and learn: God also has made the one (the day of adversity) before the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.15All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perishes for his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his days by his wickedness.16Do not be too legalistic; neither make thyself over wise in thine own eyes: why should thou destroy thyself?17Do not be hasty to condemn, neither be thou foolish: why should thou die in the midst of thy labours?18It is good that thou should take hold of this; and also from the other not withdraw thy hand; for he that fears God shall come through with everything.19Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten mighty men who are in the city.20For surely there is not a just man upon earth that in doing good does not sin.21Also do not take to heart all the words that are spoken lest thou hear thy slave speak evil of thee:22For thine own heart knows that thou thyself likewise hast spoken evil of others many times.
23All this I have proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise, but it was far from me.24That which has been is far off and that which is exceeding deep, who can find it out?25I applied my heart to know and to search and to seek out wisdom and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the madness of error;26and I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands are bonds; whosoever pleases God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be held prisoner in her.27Behold, this I have found, saith the preacher, weighing things one by one to find out the answer,28which my soul yet seeks, but I find not: one man among a thousand I have found, but a woman among all those I have not found.29Behold, this only have I found: that God has made man upright, but they have sought out many perversions.