7 A good name* is better than good oil,+ and the day of death is better than the day of birth. 2 Better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting,+ for that is the end of every man, and the living should take it to heart. 3 Better is distress than laughter,+ for the sadness of the face makes the heart better.+ 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of the stupid is in the house of rejoicing.*+
5 Better to listen to a wise man’s rebuke+ than to listen to the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorns burning under the pot, so is the laughter of the fool;+ and this too is futility. 7 But oppression can drive the wise one into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart.+
11 Wisdom together with an inheritance is a good thing and an advantage to those who see the light of day.* 12 For wisdom is a protection+ just as money is a protection,+ but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner.+
13 Consider the work of the true God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked?+ 14 On a good day, reflect this goodness,+ but on the day of adversity,* consider that God made the one as well as the other,+ so that men cannot be certain of* anything that will happen to them in the future.+
16 Do not be overly righteous,+ nor show yourself excessively wise.+ Why should you bring ruin to yourself?+ 17 Do not be excessively wicked, nor be foolish.+ Why should you die before your time?+ 18 It is best to grasp one warning without letting go of the other;+ for the one who fears God will heed them both.
21 Also, do not take to heart every word that people say;+ otherwise, you may hear your servant calling down evil on* you; 22 for you well know in your heart that many times you yourself have called down evil on others.+
23 All of this I tested with wisdom, and I said: “I will become wise.” But it was beyond me. 24 What has come to be is out of reach and exceedingly deep. Who can understand it?+ 25 I directed my heart to know and to explore and to search for wisdom and the reason behind things, and to understand the wickedness of stupidity and the folly of madness.+ 26 Then I discovered this: More bitter than death is the woman who is like a hunter’s net, whose heart is like dragnets, and whose hands are like prison chains. The one who pleases the true God will escape her,+ but the sinner is captured by her.+
27 “See, this is what I found,” says the congregator.+ “I investigated one thing after another to reach my conclusion, 28 but what I* continually sought, I have not found. One man* out of a thousand I found, but a woman among them I have not found. 29 This alone I have found: The true God made mankind upright,+ but they have sought out many schemes.”+