Ecclesiastes 7

The Contrast of Wisdom and Folly

1 h A good name is better than precious ointment,
and i the day of death than the day of birth.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will j lay it to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
k for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
5 It is l better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise
than to hear the song of fools.
6 m For as the crackling of n thorns under a pot,
so is the laughter of the fools;
this also is vanity.
7 Surely o oppression drives the wise into madness,
and p a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
and q the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 r Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
s for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
10 Say not, "Why were the former days better than these?"
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
an advantage to those who t see the sun.
12 For the protection of wisdom is like u the protection of money,
and the advantage of knowledge is that v wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
13 Consider w the work of God:
x who can make straight what he has made crooked?

14 y In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, z so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

15 In my a vain life I have seen everything. There is b a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who c prolongs his life in his evildoing. 16 Be not overly righteous, and do not d make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? 17 Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. e Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you should take hold of f this, and from g that h withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.

19 i Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.

20 Surely j there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

21 Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear k your servant cursing you. 22 Your heart knows that l many times you yourself have cursed others.

23 All this I have tested by wisdom. m I said, "I will be wise," but it was far from me. 24 That which has been is far off, and n deep, very deep; o who can find it out?

25 p I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. 26 And I find something more q bitter than death: r the woman whose heart is s snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but t the sinner is taken by her. 27 Behold, this is what I found, says u the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things - 28 which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. v One man among a thousand I found, but w a woman among all these I have not found. 29 See, this alone I found, that x God made man upright, but y they have sought out many schemes.

  1. Cross References
    Proverbs 22:1
    A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
    Song of Solomon 1:3
    Your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.
  2. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 4:2
    And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive.
  3. Cross References
    Psalms 90:12
    So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
  4. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 7:10
    For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
  5. Cross References
    Proverbs 13:18
    Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
    Proverbs 15:31 - 32
    The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.
    Psalms 141:5
    Let a righteous man strike me - it is a kindness; let him rebuke me - it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it. Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.
  6. Cross References
    Joel 2:5
    As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle.
  7. Cross References
    Psalms 58:9
    Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns, whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!
    Psalms 118:12
    They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
  8. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 4:1
    Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.
  9. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 16:19
    You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.
    Proverbs 17:8
    A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it; wherever he turns he prospers.
  10. Cross References
    Proverbs 14:29
    Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
  11. Cross References
    Proverbs 14:17
    A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.
    Proverbs 16:32
    Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
    James 1:19
    Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
  12. Cross References
    Ephesians 4:26
    Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.
  13. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 6:5
    Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he.
    Ecclesiastes 11:7
    Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.
  14. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 10:19
    Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything.
  15. Cross References
    Proverbs 3:18
    She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
  16. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 3:11
    He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
  17. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:15
    What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted.
    Job 12:14
    If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open.
    Isaiah 14:27
    For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?
  18. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 3:4
    A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
    Ecclesiastes 3:22
    So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
    Deuteronomy 28:47
    Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things.
  19. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 3:22
    So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
    Ecclesiastes 6:12
    For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?
  20. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 6:12
    For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?
    Ecclesiastes 9:9
    Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.
  21. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 8:14
    There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.
  22. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 8:12 - 13
    Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him.
  23. Cross References
    Romans 12:3
    For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
  24. Cross References
    Proverbs 10:27
    The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.
    Job 22:16
    They were snatched away before their time; their foundation was washed away.
  25. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 7:17
    Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?
  26. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 7:16
    Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?
  27. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 11:6
    In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
  28. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 9:16
    But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man's wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.
    Ecclesiastes 9:18
    Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
    Proverbs 21:22
    A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
    Proverbs 24:5
    A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might.
  29. Cross References
    1 Kings 8:46
    If they sin against you - for there is no one who does not sin - and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near.
  30. Cross References
    Proverbs 30:10
    Do not slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
  31. Cross References
    Galatians 6:1
    Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
  32. Cross References
    Romans 1:22
    Claiming to be wise, they became fools.
  33. Cross References
    Romans 11:33
    Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
  34. Cross References
    Job 28:12
    But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
    Job 28:20
    From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?
    1 Timothy 6:16
    Who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
  35. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:17
    And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
  36. Cross References
    Proverbs 5:4
    But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
  37. Cross References
    Proverbs 2:16
    So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.
  38. Cross References
    Proverbs 12:12
    Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
    Proverbs 23:28
    She lies in wait like a robber and increases the traitors among mankind.
  39. Cross References
    Proverbs 22:14
    The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit; he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.
  40. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:1
    The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
  41. Cross References
    Job 33:23
    If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him.
    Ecclesiastes 7:20
    Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
  42. Cross References
    1 Kings 11:3
    He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.
  43. Cross References
    Genesis 1:27
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
  44. Cross References
    Genesis 3:6 - 7
    So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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