Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:1

We can never know everything

15 In my short life on the earth

I have seen these things which have no purpose:

Sometimes righteous people may die when they are still young.

They did good things, but they died.

And sometimes wicked people continue to live for along time.

They did evil things, but they continued to live.

16 So do not try to be too good or too wise.

That might cause you to have trouble.

17 But do not be too wicked. Do not be a fool.

That might cause you to die when you are still young.

18 Remember both these things.

Do not forget either of them.

You can do that if you respect God and you obey him.

7:18The Teacher is saying that the important thing is to follow God's way in our lives. We should not do wicked or foolish things. Also, we should not think that if we do good things, our lives will be safe.

19 Wisdom makes a wise person more powerful

than ten rulers in a city.

20 There is nobody on the earth who is so righteous

that they always do what is right.

There is nobody who never does a wrong thing.

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

You might hear your servant when he is cursing you!

22 Do not forget that you also have often cursed other people.

23 I have used wisdom to study all these things.

I tried very much to understand everything that happens.

But I could not do it.

24 People cannot understand these things.

The meaning of life is too difficult for anyone to understand.

25 I decided to study many things

so that I would become wise.

I wanted to understand the reason why things happen.

I also wanted to know why it is stupid to be wicked,

and why it is crazy to do foolish things.

26 I learned this:

Some women are like a trap that catches animals.

Women like that are more dangerous than death.

They may pretend to love you.

They may hold you in their arms.

But really their arms are like chains.

They want to catch you,

as hunters catch animals.

Women like that will easily catch

a man who has turned away from God.

But a man who pleases God

will escape from them.

27 This is what I, the Teacher, have learned.

I studied everything very carefully.

I wanted to know the reason why things happen.

28 I continued to try to learn more and more.

But I could not find the answers.

Among one thousand people,

I found one good man.

But among them all,

I did not find a good woman.

29 I did learn this:

God made people to do what is right.

But people have chosen their own way to do things.

Ecclesiastes 8

1 This is what I know about people who are truly wise.

They know how to explain things.

Wisdom helps a person to be happy.

It causes them to smile even when they have trouble.