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Ecclesiastes 7

Wisdom

1 You may be a nice person.

So it is good if people know that.

There was a day when you were born. But the day when you die will be better.

2 You may enjoy a party.

But it is better for you if you go to a funeral.

There, you will think about the day when you will die.

We will all die in the end. It is good to remember that.

3 It is better to be sad than it is to be happy.

We learn more about ourselves when we are sad.

4 A wise person thinks about death.

A fool thinks about how to enjoy his life.

5 You can listen to a fool who is singing songs.

But it is better to listen to a wise friend.

He can tell you if you do a wrong thing.

6 Some sharp, hard plants make a lot of noise when they burn. But they do not make much heat.

Fools make a lot of noise when they laugh. But they never do anything good.

7 Wise people become fools if they are not fair to other people.

It is wrong to receive a bribe.

8 It is good when you start to do some new work.

But it is better to finish that work.

Do your work well even if you have to do it slowly.

Some people may be proud. But it is better to do your work well.

9 Do not get angry quickly. That is what fools do.

Try to forget the bad things that people may have done to you.

10 You may think that your life is difficult.

You may think that it was easier before now.

It is not wise to think like that.

So do not think like that.

11 It is as good to be wise as it is to receive a lot of money.

12 Money can keep you safe. And wisdom can keep you safe.

But if you are wise, you will know the best way to live.

13 Think about the things that God has done.

If God has bent something, you cannot make it straight.

14 If your life is good, you should be happy.

But bad things may happen to you.

God causes good things to happen and he also causes bad things to happen. Remember that.

You do not know what will happen next.

Good people and bad people

15 I do not know why I am alive.

But I have seen two things during my life.

I have seen that good people have died. They died when they were young.

They always did the right thing but they died like everyone else.

I have seen that some bad people live for many years.

16 Be careful that you do not kill yourself.

That might happen if you try to be too good or too wise.

17 Be careful that you do not die too soon.

That might happen if you are a fool or a bad person.

18 Try to live your life in a way that is in the middle.

You can do that if you try to love God. And you can do it if you try to obey him.

19 A wise man can do greater things than ten leaders in a city can do.

20 But even good men do not always do what is right.

Sometimes they make mistakes.

21 Do not listen to all the things that people say about you.

Even your servant may say bad things about you.

22 Do not forget that you, too, have said bad things.

23 I wanted to be wise.

Many things have happened to me during my life.

And I wanted to discover the reason for them.

24 But I could not discover a good reason.

It was too difficult for me.

25 So I decided to learn many things.

I wanted to become wise.

And I wanted to get answers to all my questions.

I believed that it was silly to be a fool.

I wanted to discover if this was true.

26 I learned that it is dangerous to meet a bad woman.

She is a worse thing than death itself.

She says that she loves you.

But if you listen to her, you will do wrong things.

Do what God wants people to do. If you do that, a woman like that will not catch you.

But that bad woman will catch the man who does not obey God's rules.

27 I used all my wisdom. And I looked for answers to my questions.

28 But I have failed.

I do know that there is one good man in every thousand men.

But I have not found a good woman.

29 I did learn one thing.

God made us to be good people.

But we have become bad people.