Ecclesiastes 7

The Contrast of Wisdom and Folly

1 A a good name is better than precious ointment,
And the day of death than the day of one's b birth;
2 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 take it to c heart.
3 1 Sorrow is better than laughter,
d For by a sad countenance the heart is made 2 better.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
5 e It is better to 3 hear the rebuke of the wise
Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
6 f For like the 4 crackling of thorns under a pot,
So is the laughter of the fool.
This also is vanity.
7 Surely oppression destroys a wise man's reason,
g And a bribe 5 debases the heart.
8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
h The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 i Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
For anger rests in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say,
"Why were the former days better than these?"
For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
And profitable j to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom is 6 a k defense as money is a defense,
But the 7 excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives l life to those who have it.
13 Consider the work of God;
For m who can make straight what He has made crooked?

14 n In the day of prosperity be joyful,
But in the day of adversity consider:
Surely God has appointed the one 8 as well as the other,
So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.

15 I have seen everything in my days of vanity:
o There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness,
And there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.
16 p Do not be overly righteous,
q Nor be overly wise:
Why should you destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overly wicked,
Nor be foolish:
r Why should you die before your time?
18 It is good that you grasp this,
And also not remove your hand from the other;
For he who s fears God will 9 escape them all.

19 t Wisdom strengthens the wise
More than ten rulers of the city.

20 u For there is not a just man on earth who does good
And does not sin.

21 Also do not take to heart everything people say,
Lest you hear your servant cursing you.
22 For many times, also, your own heart has known
That even you have cursed others.

23 All this I have 10 proved by wisdom.
v I said, "I will be wise";
But it was far from me.
24 w As for that which is far off and x exceedingly deep,
Who can find it out?

25 y I applied my heart to know,
To search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things,
To know the wickedness of folly,
Even of foolishness and madness.
26 z And I find more bitter than death
The woman whose heart is snares and nets,
Whose hands are fetters.
11 He who pleases God shall escape from her,
But the sinner shall be trapped by her.
27 "Here is what I have found," says a the Preacher,
"Adding one thing to the other to find out the reason,
28 Which my soul still seeks but I cannot find:
b One man among a thousand I have found,
But a woman among all these I have not found.
29 Truly, this only I have found:
c That God made man upright,
But d they have sought out many schemes."

  1. Cross References
    Proverbs 22:1
    A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
  2. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 4:2
    Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive.
  3. Cross References
    Psalms 90:12
    So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
  4. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 7:10
    For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
  5. Cross References
    Psalms 141:5
    Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.
    Proverbs 13:18
    Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored.
    Proverbs 15:31
    The ear that hears the rebukes of life Will abide among the wise.
    Proverbs 15:32
    He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
  6. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:2
    I said of laughter - "Madness!"; and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?
  7. Cross References
    Exodus 23:8
    And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous.
    Deuteronomy 16:19
    You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.
    Proverbs 17:8
    A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers.
    Proverbs 17:23
    A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back To pervert the ways of justice.
  8. Cross References
    Proverbs 14:29
    He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.
    Galatians 5:22
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
    Ephesians 4:2
    With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.
  9. Cross References
    Proverbs 14:17
    A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated.
    James 1:19
    So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
  10. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 11:7
    Truly the light is sweet, And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun.
  11. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 9:18
    Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroys much good.
  12. Cross References
    Proverbs 3:18
    She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her.
  13. Cross References
    Job 12:14
    If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt; If He imprisons a man, there can be no release.
  14. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 28:47
    Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything.
  15. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 8:12 - 14
    Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.
  16. Cross References
    Proverbs 25:16
    Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit.
    Philippians 3:6
    Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
  17. Cross References
    Romans 12:3
    For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
  18. Cross References
    Job 15:32
    It will be accomplished before his time, And his branch will not be green.
    Psalms 55:23
    But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; But I will trust in You.
  19. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 3:14
    I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.
    Ecclesiastes 5:7
    For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.
    Ecclesiastes 8:12
    Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.
    Ecclesiastes 8:13
    But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
  20. Cross References
    Proverbs 21:22
    A wise man scales the city of the mighty, And brings down the trusted stronghold.
    Ecclesiastes 9:13 - 18
    This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me:
  21. Cross References
    1 Kings 8:46
    When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near.
    2 Chronicles 6:36
    When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to a land far or near.
    Proverbs 20:9
    Who can say, "I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin"?
    Romans 3:23
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
    1 John 1:8
    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
  22. Cross References
    Romans 1:22
    Professing to be wise, they became fools.
  23. Cross References
    Job 28:12
    But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
    1 Timothy 6:16
    Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
  24. Cross References
    Romans 11:33
    Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
  25. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:17
    And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
  26. Cross References
    Proverbs 5:3
    For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil.
    Proverbs 5:4
    But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword.
  27. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:1
    The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
    Ecclesiastes 1:2
    "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."
  28. Cross References
    Job 33:23
    If there is a messenger for him, A mediator, one among a thousand, To show man His uprightness.
  29. 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.
  30. Cross References
    Genesis 3:6
    So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
    Genesis 3:7
    Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Previous Book Next Book