New International Reader's Version

Ecclesiastes 7

Good Advice About How to Live

1A good name is better than fine perfume.
    People can learn more from mourning when someone dies
    than from being happy when someone is born.
So it’s better to go where people are mourning
    than to go where people are having a good time.
Everyone will die someday.
    Those who are still living
    should really think about that.
Not being able to figure things out is better than laughter.
    That’s because sorrow is good for the heart.
Those who are wise are found where there is sorrow.
    But foolish people are found where there is pleasure.
Pay attention to a wise person’s warning.
    That’s better than listening to the songs of those who are foolish.
A foolish person’s laughter
    is like the crackling of thorns burning under a pot.
    That doesn’t have any meaning either.

When a wise person takes wealth by force, they become foolish.
    It is sinful to take money from people who want special favors.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning.
    So it’s better to be patient than proud.
Don’t become angry quickly.
    Anger lives in the hearts of foolish people.

10 Don’t say, “Why were things better in the good old days?”
    It isn’t wise to ask that kind of question.

11 Wisdom is a good thing.
    It’s like getting a share of the family wealth.
    It benefits those who live on this earth.
12 Wisdom provides safety,
    just as money provides safety.
But here’s the advantage of wisdom.
    It guards those who have it.

13 Think about what God has done.

Who can make straight
    what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy.
    But when times are bad, here’s something to think about.
God has made bad times.
    He has also made good times.
So no one can find out anything
    about what’s ahead for them.

15 In my meaningless life here’s what I’ve seen.

I’ve seen godly people dying
    even though they are godly.
And I’ve seen sinful people living a long time
    even though they are sinful.
16 Don’t claim to be better than you are.
    And don’t claim to be wiser than you are.
    Why destroy yourself?
17 Don’t be too sinful.
    And don’t be foolish.
    Why die before your time comes?
18 It’s good to hold on to both of those things.
    Don’t let go of either one.
Whoever has respect for God will avoid
    going too far in either direction.

19 Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful
    than ten rulers in a city.

20 It is true that there isn’t anyone on earth
    who does only what is right and never sins.

21 Don’t pay attention to everything people say.
    If you do, you might hear your servant cursing you.
22 Many times you yourself have cursed others.
    Deep down inside, you know that’s true.

23 I used wisdom to test all these things. I said,

“I’ve made up my mind to be wise.”
    But it was more than I could accomplish.
24 Whatever exists is far away and very deep.
    Who can find it?
25 So I tried to understand wisdom more completely.
    I wanted to study it and figure it out.
    I tried to find out everything I could about it.
I tried to understand why it’s foolish to be evil.
    I wanted to see why choosing foolishness is so unwise.

26 A woman who hunts a man down
    is more painful than death.
Her heart is like a trap.
    Her hands are like chains.
A man who pleases God will try to get away from her.
    But she will trap a sinner.

27 “Look,” says the Teacher. “Here’s what I’ve discovered.

“I added one thing to another to find out
    everything I could about wisdom.
28 I searched and searched
    but found very little.
I did find one honest man among a thousand.
    But I didn’t find one honest woman among a thousand.
29 Here’s the only other thing I found.
    God created human beings as honest.
    But they’ve made many evil plans.”

Amplified Bible

Ecclesiastes 7

Wisdom and Folly Contrasted

1A good name is better than precious perfume,
And the day of one’s death better than the day of one’s birth.

It is better to go to the house of mourning
Than to go to the house of feasting,
For that [day of death] is the end of every man,
And the living will take it to heart and solemnly ponder its meaning.

Sorrow is better than laughter,
For when a face is sad (deep in thought) the heart may be happy [because it is growing in wisdom].

The heart of the wise [learns when it] is in the house of mourning,
But the heart of fools is [senseless] in the house of pleasure.

It is better to listen to the rebuke of the wise man and pursue wisdom
Than for one to listen to the song of fools and pursue stupidity.

For like the crackling of [burning] thorn bushes under a pot,
So is the laughter of the fool;
And this too is vanity (futility).

For oppression makes a wise man foolish,
And a bribe corrupts the [good judgment of the] heart.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning;
Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit (pride).

Do not be eager in your heart to be angry,
For anger dwells in the heart of fools.
10 
Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
11 
Wisdom along with an inheritance is good
And an [excellent] advantage for those who see the sun.
12 
For wisdom is a protection even as money is a protection,
But the [excellent] advantage of knowledge is that wisdom shields and preserves the lives of its possessors.
13 
Consider the work of God:
Who can make straight what He has bent?
14 
In the day of prosperity be joyful,
But in the day of adversity consider that
God has made the one as well as the other,
So that man will not find out anything that will be after him.

15 I have seen everything during my [fleeting] days of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in [spite of] his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who [a]lives a long life in [spite of] his wickedness. 16 Do not be excessively righteous [like those given to self-conceit], and do not be overly wise (pretentious)—why should you bring yourself to ruin? 17 Do not be excessively or willfully wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you take hold of one thing (righteousness) and also not let go of the other (wisdom); for the one who fears and worships God [with awe-filled reverence] will come forth with both of them.

19 Wisdom strengthens the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who always does good and who never sins. 21 Also, do not take seriously everything that is said, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you, 22 for you also know that you too have cursed others many times.

23 I have tested all this with wisdom. I said, “I will be wise [independently of God],” but true wisdom was far from me. 24 Whatever has been is far off, deeply remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it [for it is beyond the grasp of man]? 25 I turned around and directed my heart to know, to investigate and to seek [skillful and godly] wisdom and the reason for things, and to know that wickedness is folly and that foolishness is madness [leading to stupidity and recklessness]. 26 And I discovered that [of all irrational sins none has been so destructive in beguiling one away from God as immoral women for] more bitter than death is the woman whose heart is [composed of] snares and nets, and whose hands are chains. Whoever pleases God will escape from her, but the sinner will be taken captive by her [evil].

27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “while adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one [b]man among a thousand [who pleases God], but I have not found [such] a woman among all these [a thousand in my harem]. 29 Behold, I have found only this [as a reason]: God made man upright and uncorrupted, but they [both men and women] have sought out many devices [for evil].”

Notas al pie

  1. Ecclesiastes 7:15 Lit prolongs.
  2. Ecclesiastes 7:28 Or person.