1 A good name is better than good ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's 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 mankind; and the living will lay it to his heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools (= fat, and then dense, or stupid, which comes of it, showing itself in impiety) is in the house of mirth.
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
6 For as the crackling of needles under kettles, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
7 Surely oppressing (i.e. the act of oppressing) makes a wise man beyond control; and a bribe destroys 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.
9 Be not hasty in your spirit to be angry: for anger rests in the bosom of fools.
10 Say not you, 'What is the cause that the former days were better than these?' for ou do not inquire wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom [is as] good as riches: and more advantageous to them that see the sun. (Idiom for "are alive")
12 For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom gives future life to them that have it.
13 Consider the work of the true God: for who can make that straight, which He has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also has set the one over against the other, to the end that man should discover nothing after him.
15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a righteous man that perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his wickedness.
16 Be not righteous over much (i.e. depending on the merit of good works); neither make yourself over wise: (I.e. beyond what is necessary)
why should you make thyself lonely? (I.e. forsaken. Cp. Job 16:7.)
17 Be not very wicked (i.e. be not wicked at all. For violation of nature's laws surely end in premature death), neither be you stupid:
why should you die before your time?
18 It is good that you should take hold of this; yes, also from this withdraw not your hand: for he that reveres God shall make His way with both.
19 Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten mighty men which are in the city.
20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that does good, and sins not.
21 Also take no heed to all words that are spoken; lest you hear your servant revile you:
22 For oftentimes also your own heart knows that you yourself likewise have cursed others.
23 All this have I proved 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?
25 I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and in order to know the reason (or cause) of folly's wickedness, and the madness of folly:
26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.
27 Behold, this have I found," says the preacher, "[considering women] one by one, to find out the result:
28 Which yet I myself sought, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found;
but a woman among all those have I not found.
29 Lo, this only have I found, that God has made man upright; but mankind (not merely the above classes) has sought out many devises. (This verse is admittedly the inspired truth of God: so therefore are the other statements in this book. Moreover "mankind" is emphatic)