1A good name is better than precious oil, 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 take it to heart.
3Sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the face the heart becomes better.
4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of rejoicing.
5It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for man to hear the song of fools.
6For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of a fool. That too is futile.
7For oppression makes a wise one mad, and a bribe destroys the heart.
8The end of a matter is better than its beginning. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9Do not be hasty in your spirit to be vexed, for vexation rests in the bosom of fools.
10Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not wise of you to have asked about this.
11Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and an advantage to those who see the sun.
12For wisdom protects as silver protects, but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.
13See the work of Elohim: For who is able to make straight what He has made crooked?
14Be glad in the day of prosperity, but in the evil day take note that Elohim has also appointed the one as well as the other, so that man should not uncover whatever shall be after him.
15I have seen it all in my days of futility: There is a righteous one perishing in his righteousness, and there is a wrong one living long in his evil.
16Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise – why destroy yourself?
17Do not be wrong overmuch, and do not be a fool – why die before your time?
18It is good that you should take hold of this, and also not withhold your hand from the other. For he who fears Elohim comes forth with all of them.
19Wisdom makes the wise strong, more than ten rulers that are in the city.
20For there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin.
21Also do not take to heart all the words they speak, lest you hear your servant cursing you.
22For you know in your heart that many times you have cursed others.
23All this I have proved by wisdom. I said, “I am wise,” but it was far from me.
24That which is, is far off and exceedingly deep – who does find it?
25I have turned round, even my heart, to know and to search, and to seek out wisdom and a conclusion, to know the wrongness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.
26And I found more bitter than death, the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are shackles. He who pleases Elohim escapes from her, but the sinner is captured by her.
27“See, this I have found,” says Qoheleth, “Counting one by one, to find a conclusion,
28which my being still seeks but have not found: I have found one man among a thousand, but a woman among all these I have not found.
29Truly, this only I have found: that Elohim made man straight, but they have sought out many devices.”