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The Wisdom of Israel

(Category 9 of 16)

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1 For I 1considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: athat the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.
2 aAll things come alike to all:

One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the 1good, the clean, and the unclean; To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.

3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
4 But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

5 For the living know that they will die; But athe dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For bthe memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.

7 Go, aeat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works.
8 Let your garments always be white, And let your head lack no oil.

9 1Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; afor that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.
10 aWhatever your hand finds to do, do it with your bmight; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

CHAPTER 9 References

1 aDeut. 33:3;
Job 12:10;
Eccl. 8:14 1Lit.
2 aGen.
3:17–19; Job
21:7; Ps. 73:3,
12, 13; Mal.
3:15 1LXX,
Syr.,Vg. good
and bad,
5 aJob 14:21;
Is. 63:16 bJob
7:8–10; Eccl.
1:11; 2:16;
8:10; Is. 26:14
7 aEccl. 8:15
9 aEccl. 2:10
1Lit. See life
10 a[Col. 3:17] bRom. 12:11;
Col. 3:23
11 aJer. 9:23;
Amos 2:14, 15
b1 Sam. 6:9
12 aEccl. 8:7
bProv. 29:6;
Luke 12:20,
39; 17:26;
1 Thess. 5:3
14 a2 Sam.
1LXX, Syr.,
Vg. bulwarks
16 aEccl. 7:12,
19 bMark
6:2, 3
18 aJosh.
7:1–26; 2 Kin.

CHAPTER 10 References

1 1Lit. Flies of
death 2Tg.,
Vg. omit putrefy
3 aProv. 13:16;
4 aEccl. 8:3
b1 Sam.
Prov. 25:15
1Lit. healing,


11 I returned aand saw under the sun that—

The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and bchance happen to them all.
12 For aman also does not know his time: Like fish taken in a cruel net, Like birds caught in a snare, So the sons of men are bsnared in an evil time, When it falls suddenly upon them.

Wisdom Superior to Folly

13 This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me:
14 aThere was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great 1snares around it.
15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man.
16 Then I said:

“Wisdom is better than astrength. Nevertheless bthe poor man’s wisdom is despised, And his words are not heard.
17 Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But aone sinner destroys much good.”


1 Dead1 flies 2 putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.
2 A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, But a fool’s heart at his left.
3 Even when a fool walks along the way, He lacks wisdom, aAnd he shows everyone that he is a fool.
4 If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, aDo not leave your post; For bconciliation1 pacifies great offenses.

5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,

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As an error proceeding from the ruler:
6 aFolly is set in 1great dignity, While the rich sit in a lowly place.
7 I have seen servants aon horses, While princes walk on the ground like servants.

8 aHe who digs a pit will fall into it, And whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.
9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, And he who splits wood may be endangered by it.
10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom 1brings success.

11 A serpent may bite awhen it is not charmed; The 1babbler is no different.
12 aThe words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, But bthe lips of a fool shall swallow him up;
13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, And the end of his talk is raving madness.
14 aA fool also multiplies words. No man knows what is to be; Who can tell him bwhat will be after him?
15 The labor of fools wearies them, For they do not even know how to go to the city!

16 aWoe to you, O land, when your king is a child, And your princes feast in the morning!
17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, And your aprinces feast at the proper time— For strength and not for drunkenness!
18 Because of laziness the 1building decays, And athrough idleness of hands the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter, And awine makes merry; But money answers everything.

20 aDo not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter

6 aEsth. 3:1
1exalted positions
7 aProv. 19:10;
8 aPs. 7:15;
Prov. 26:27
10 1Lit. is a
successful advantage
11 aPs. 58:4, 5;
Jer. 8:17 1Lit.
master of the
12 aProv.
10:32; Luke
4:22 bProv.
10:14; Eccl.
14 a[Prov.
15:2]; Eccl. 5:3
bEccl. 3:22;
16 aIs. 3:4, 5;
17 aProv. 31:4;
Is. 5:11
18 aProv.
24:30–34 1Lit.
rafters sink
19 aJudg. 9:13;
Ps. 104:15;
Eccl. 2:3
20 aEx. 22:28;
Acts 23:5

CHAPTER 11 References

1 aIs. 32:20
b[Deut. 15:10;
Prov. 19:17;
Matt. 10:42;
2 Cor. 9:8;
Gal. 6:9, 10;
Heb. 6:10] 2 aPs. 112:9;
Matt. 5:42;
Luke 6:30;
[1 Tim. 6:18,
19] bMic. 5:5
cEph. 5:16
5 aJohn 3:8
bPs. 139:14
1Or spirit
7 aEccl. 7:11
8 aEccl. 9:7
bEccl. 12:1
9 aNum. 15:39;
Job 31:7; Eccl.
2:10 bEccl.
3:17; 12:14;
[Rom. 14:10] 1Impulses 2As
you see to be
10 a2 Cor. 7:1;
2 Tim. 2:22
bPs. 39:5 1vexation
of life

CHAPTER 12 References

1 a2 Chr. 34:3;
Prov. 22:6;
Lam. 3:27
1Lit. evil

The Value of Diligence


1 Cast your bread aupon the waters, bFor you will find it after many days.
2 aGive a serving bto seven, and also to eight, cFor you do not know what evil will be on the earth.

3 If the clouds are full of rain, They empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.
4 He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap.

5 As ayou do not know what is the way of the 1wind, bOr how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
6 In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.

7 Truly the light is sweet, And it is pleasant for the eyes ato behold the sun;
8 But if a man lives many years And arejoices in them all, Yet let him bremember the days of darkness, For they will be many. All that is coming is vanity.

Seek God in Early Life

9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; aWalk in the 1ways of your heart, And 2in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these bGod will bring you into judgment.
10 Therefore remove 1sorrow from your heart, And aput away evil from your flesh, bFor childhood and 2youth are vanity.


1 Remembera now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the 1difficult days come,

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And the years draw near bwhen you say, “I have no pleasure in them”:
2 While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened, And the clouds do not return after the rain;
3 In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, And the strong men bow down; When the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look through the windows grow dim;
4 When the doors are shut in the streets, And the sound of grinding is low; When one rises up at the sound of a bird, And all athe daughters of music are brought low.
5 Also they are afraid of height, And of terrors in the way; When the almond tree blossoms, The grasshopper is a burden, And desire fails. For man goes to ahis eternal home, And bthe mourners go about the streets.

6 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is 1loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,

1 b2 Sam.
4 a2 Sam.
5 aJob 17:13
bGen. 50:10;
Jer. 9:17
6 1So with Qr.,
Tg.; Kt. removed;
Vg. broken
7 aGen. 3:19;
Job 34:15; Ps.
90:3 bEccl.
3:21 cNum.
16:22; 27:16;
Job 34:14; Is.
57:16; Zech.
8 aPs. 62:9
9 a1 Kin. 4:32
10 1Lit. delightful
11 1Lit. masters
12 aEccl. 1:18
13 a[Deut. 6:2;
10:12]; Mic.
14 aEccl. 11:9;
Matt. 12:36;
[Acts 17:30,
31; Rom. 2:16;
1 Cor. 4:5;
2 Cor. 5:10]


Or the wheel broken at the well.
7 aThen the dust will return to the earth as it was, bAnd the spirit will return to God cwho gave it.
8 “Vanitya of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.”

The Whole Duty of Man

9 And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and aset1 in order many proverbs.
10 The Preacher sought to find 1acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of 1scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.
12 And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and amuch study is wearisome to the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

aFear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.
14 For aGod will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.

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A Song of Confidence in God’s Triumph over Evil

1 WHY do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide in times of trouble?
2 The wicked in his pride 1persecutes the poor; aLet them be caught in the plots which they have devised.

3 For the wicked aboasts of his heart’s desire; 1He bblesses the greedy and renounces the LORD.
4 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; 1God is in none of his athoughts.

5 His ways 1are always prospering; Your judgments are far above, out of his sight; As for all his enemies, he sneers at them.
6 aHe has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved; bI shall never be in adversity.”
7 aHis mouth is full of cursing and bdeceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.

8 He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the secret places he murders the innocent; His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless.

PSALM 10 References

2 aPs. 7:16;
9:16 1hotly
3 aPs. 49:6;
94:3, 4 bProv.
28:4 1Or The
greedy man
curses and
spurns the
4 aPs. 14:1;
36:1 1Or All
his thoughts
are, “There is
no God”
5 1Lit. are
6 aPs. 49:11;
[Eccl. 8:11] bRev. 18:7
7 a[Rom. 3:14] bPs. 55:10, 11
10 1Or he is
crushed, is
bowed 1Or
mighty ones
12 aPs. 17:7;
94:2; Mic. 5:9
bPs. 9:12
14 a[Ps. 11:4] b[2 Tim. 1:12] cPs. 68:5; Hos.
14:3 1Lit.
leaves, entrusts
16 aPs. 29:10
18 1vindicate

9 He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; He lies in wait to catch the poor; He catches the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 So 1he crouches, he lies low, That the helpless may fall by his 2strength.
11 He has said in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see.”

12 Arise, O LORD! O God, alift up Your hand! Do not forget the bhumble.
13 Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.”

14 But You have aseen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand. The helpless bcommits1 himself to You; cYou are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; Seek out his wickedness until You find none.

16 aThe LORD is King forever and ever; The nations have perished out of His land.
17 LORD,You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear,
18 To 1do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may 2oppress no more.




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