9 So I took all of this to heart and concluded that the righteous and the wise, as well as their works, are in the hands of the true God.+ Men are not aware of the love and the hate that took place prior to them. 2 All have the very same outcome,*+ the righteous and the wicked,+ the good and the clean and the unclean, those sacrificing and those not sacrificing. The good one is the same as the sinner; the one who swears an oath is the same as the one who is cautious about swearing an oath. 3 This is a distressing thing that happens under the sun: Because all have the same outcome,*+ the heart of humans is also full of bad; and there is madness in their heart during their life, and then they die!*
4 There is hope for whoever is among the living, because a live dog is better off than a dead lion.+ 5 For the living know* that they will die,+ but the dead know nothing at all,+ nor do they have any more reward,* because all memory of them is forgotten.+ 6 Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they no longer have any share in what is done under the sun.+
7 Go, eat your food with rejoicing, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart,+ for already the true God has found pleasure in your works.+ 8 May your clothing always be white,* and do not fail to put oil on your head.+ 9 Enjoy life with your beloved wife+ all the days of your futile life, which He has given you under the sun, all the days of your futility, for that is your lot* in life and in your hard work at which you toil under the sun.+ 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave,*+ where you are going.
11 I have seen something further under the sun, that the swift do not always win the race, nor do the mighty win the battle,+ nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches,+ nor do those with knowledge always have success,+ because time and unexpected events* overtake them all. 12 For man does not know his time.+ Just as fish are caught in an evil net and birds are caught in a trap, so the sons of men are ensnared in a time of disaster,* when it suddenly overtakes them.
13 I also observed this about wisdom under the sun—and it impressed me: 14 There was a small city with a few men in it; and a mighty king came against it and surrounded it and built great siegeworks against it. 15 In it was found a poor but wise man, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But no one remembered that poor man.+ 16 And I said to myself: ‘Wisdom is better than mightiness;+ yet a poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heeded.’+
17 Better to heed the calm words of the wise than the shouts of the one ruling among fools.