Ecclesiastes 9:1-12

We all die in the end

1 I thought about all these things. I saw that God is very powerful. He decides what our lives will be like. That is true even if we are wise. It is true even if we live in the right way. We do not know the things that will happen during our lives. So we never know if we will be happy or sad. We may live in the right way and we may obey God. Or we may do wrong things. 2 But what happens to us in the end will be the same. We may give sacrifices to God or we may not do that.

We may be good or we may be bad.

When we have promised something to God, we may do that thing. Or we may not do it.

What happens to us in the end will be the same, anyway.

3 After our death, the same thing will happen to us. There will be no difference in that. That is not fair. So people decide to live like fools. They do not try to be good. And then they die. 4 It is not very good to be a dead lion. It is better to be a dog that is alive. A person that is alive can hope to have a good life.

5 We know that we will all die in the end.

But dead people do not know anything.

And when they are dead, they cannot enjoy their life.

6 Dead people have gone from the earth and people do not remember them.

Nobody that is dead can love another person.

Nobody that is dead can hate another person.

Dead people cannot change the things that happen on the earth.

7 It is good to be happy. It is good to enjoy what you eat. And it is good to enjoy what you drink. God has pleasure in what you do. 8 You should put on your best clothes and you should comb your hair well. 9 Your life will be short and it will be difficult. But you love your wife, so enjoy your life together. That is the way to live on the earth. 10 And do your work well. You will soon leave the earth. Then it will not be possible for you to work. You will not think about future events. You will not know anything.

11 I saw another thing that happens on the earth.

The runner who can run most quickly does not always finish first.

The strongest soldier may not win the war.

People will not always feed you because you are wise.

If you are clever, good things will not always happen to you.

You may not become rich even if you do your work well.

Good things and bad things happen to us all.

12 Bad things can happen to all of us.

A fish does not know when somebody will catch it.

A bird does not know when somebody will catch it.

That is like us. We do not know when something bad will happen.

9:12Things do not always happen as we want them to happen.