Ecclesiastes - Chapter 7


The King James Version Basic English Version (BBE)

1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

1 A good name is better than oil of great price, and 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 that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

2 It is better to go to the house of weeping, than to go to the house of feasting; because that is the end of every man, and the living will take it to their hearts.

3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

3 Sorrow is better than joy; when the face is sad the mind gets better.

4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

4 The hearts of the wise are in the house of weeping; but the hearts of the foolish are in the house of joy.

5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

5 It is better to take note of the protest of the wise, than for a man to give ear to the song of the foolish.

6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

6 Like the cracking of thorns under a pot, so is the laugh of a foolish man; and this again is to no purpose.

7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

7 The wise are troubled by the ways of the cruel, and the giving of money is the destruction of the heart.

8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

8 The end of a thing is better than its start, and a gentle spirit is better than pride.

9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

9 Be not quick to let your spirit be angry; because wrath is in the heart of the foolish.

10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

10 Say not, Why were the days which have gone by better than these? Such a question comes not from wisdom.

11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.

11 Wisdom together with a heritage is good, and a profit to those who see the sun.

12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

12 Wisdom keeps a man from danger even as money does; but the value of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to its owner.

13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

13 Give thought to the work of God. Who will make straight what he has made bent?

14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

14 In the day of wealth have joy, but in the day of evil take thought: God has put the one against the other, so that man may not be certain what will be after him.

15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

15 These two have I seen in my life which is to no purpose: a good man coming to his end in his righteousness, and an evil man whose days are long in his evil-doing.

16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself ?

16 Be not given overmuch to righteousness and be not over-wise. Why let destruction come on you?

17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

17 Be not evil overmuch, and be not foolish. Why come to your end before your time?

18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.

18 It is good to take this in your hand and not to keep your hand from that; he who has the fear of God will be free of the two.

19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.

19 Wisdom makes a wise man stronger than ten rulers in a town.

20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

20 There is no man on earth of such righteousness that he does good and is free from sin all his days.

21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:

21 Do not give ear to all the words which men say, for fear of hearing the curses of your servant.

22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

22 Your heart has knowledge how frequently others have been cursed by you.

23 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

23 All this I have put to the test by wisdom; I said, I will be wise, but it was far from me.

24 That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?

24 Far off is true existence, and very deep; who may have knowledge of it?

25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:

25 I gave my mind to knowledge and to searching for wisdom and the reason of things, and to the discovery that sin is foolish, and that to be foolish is to be without one's senses.

26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

26 And I saw a thing more bitter than death, even the woman whose heart is full of tricks and nets, and whose hands are as bands. He with whom God is pleased will get free from her, but the sinner will be taken by her.

27 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:

27 Look! this I have seen, said the Preacher, taking one thing after another to get the true account,

28 Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.

28 For which my soul is still searching, but I have it not; one man among a thousand have I seen; but a woman among all these I have not seen.

29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

29 This only have I seen, that God made men upright, but they have been searching out all sorts of inventions.




Rights in the Authorized Version are vested in the Crown. Published in the United Kingdom by permission of the Crown"s patentee, Cambridge University Press.

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