The Value of Wisdom
1 A good name is better than good olive oil, And the day of one’s 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 drinking, For this is the end of every man; And the living will take it to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, But the heart of senseless men is in the house of merriment.
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of a wise man Than for a man to hear the song of senseless men.†
6 For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, So is the laughter of senseless men. This also is vanity.
7 Oppression makes a learned man dizzy And destroys his vigorous heart.
8 The end of matters is better than their beginning, And a patient man is better than one haughty in spirit.
9 Do not be hasty in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of senseless men.
10 Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, And profitable to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom in its shadow is as the shadow of silver, But the abundance of the knowledge of wisdom Will give life to him who has it.
13 Behold the works of God, For who can put in order him Whom God made crooked?
14 In the day of what is good, live in that goodness, But in the day of trouble, consider also That God made one harmonious with the other, That a man may not find out anything That will come after him.
15 I saw everything in my days of vanity: There is a righteous man Who perishes in his righteousness, And there is an ungodly man Who remains alive in his vice.
16 Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise, Lest you be confounded.†
17 Do not be very ungodly, Nor be hardened, Lest you die before your time.
18 It is good that you lay hold of this And do not let your hand let go of it: For the one who fears God, all things will turn out well.†
19 Wisdom will help the wise More than ten rulers in the city.
20 For there is not a righteous man on earth Who does good and does not sin.†
21 Also do not take to heart all the words people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you.
22 For very often he will act in an evil manner against you, And many times he will afflict your heart, Just as you have cursed others.
23 I proved all this by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,”
24 But it was far from me. As for what is far off and exceedingly deep, Who will find it out?
25 I and my heart went about to know, And to search and seek out wisdom And the account of things, And to know the foolishness, hardness, and madness Of the ungodly man.
26 I find more bitter than death The woman who is a snare and her heart a net; And her hands are her chains. A man who is good in the sight of God will escape from her, But the sinner will be caught by her.†
27 “Behold, I found this,” says the Preacher, “Adding one thing to the other to find out the reason,
28 Which my soul still seeks, but cannot find: I found one man among a thousand, But a woman among all these, I have not found.
29 Except behold, I found this, That God makes man upright, But they have sought out many schemes.”
1 An ode of ascents. When the Lord returned the captives of Zion, We became like those who are comforted.
2 Then our mouth was filled with joy, And our tongue with exceeding joy. Then they shall say among the Gentiles, “The Lord did great things with them.”
3 The Lord has done great things with us; We were glad.
4 Return, O Lord, our captivity Like streams in the south.
5 Those who sow with tears Shall reap with exceeding joy.
6 They went forth and wept, Carrying their seeds with them; But they shall return with exceeding joy, Carrying their sheaves.
1 An ode of ascents; for Solomon. Unless the Lord builds the house, Those who build it labor in vain; Unless the Lord guard the city, Those who guard it stay awake in vain.
2 It is in vain for you to rise early, To awaken from your rest, You who eat the bread of grief, When He gives His beloved ones sleep.
3 Behold, children are the Lord’s inheritance; The fruit of the womb His reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a mighty one, So are the children of those who were outcasts.
5 Blessed is the man who shall fulfill his desire with them; They shall not be ashamed, when they speak to their enemies at the gate.
The Lawful and the Lawless
1 An ungodly man flees when no one is pursuing, But a righteous man is confident as a lion.†
2 Condemnations arise because of the sins of the ungodly, But an astute man quenches them.†
3 A bold man harasses the poor with ungodliness. As a driving and unprofitable rain,
4 So those who forsake the law praise ungodliness, But those who love the law surround themselves with a wall.
5 Evil men do not understand judgment, But those who seek the Lord shall understand it in everything.†
Christ’s Prayer for Himself
1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,†
2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.†
4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.†
5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
Christ’s Prayer for the Apostles
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.†
7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.
8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.†
10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.
11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. †
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.†
13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.†
15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.†
18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Christ’s Prayer for the Church
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;†
21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Christ’s Prayer for All
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.
26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”†