11 If the serpent bites when it is not charmed,
Then there is no advantage to the charmer.
12 The words of a wise mouth are gracious,
But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up.
13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness,
And the end of his talk is evil madness.
14 A senseless man multiplies words.
No man knows what is to be;
And who will tell him what will be after him?
15 The labor of fools wears them out,
For they do not even know how to go to the city!
16 Woe to you, O city whose king is young
And whose princes feast in the morning!
17 Blessed are you, O land,
When your king is the son of nobles
And your princes feast at the proper time in strength.
They will not be dishonored.
18 Because of laziness the roofing will be brought low,
And through idleness of hands the house will leak.
19 They make bread for laughter,
And wine delights the living;
But all will listen to money.
20 Do not curse the king, even in your conscience;
Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom;
For a bird of the air will carry your voice,
And a bird in flight will tell the matter.
Cast Your Bread upon the Water
1 Cast your bread upon the face of the water,
For you will find it after many days.
2 Give a portion to seven and also to eight,
For you do not know what evil there will be on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain, they pour it out upon the earth,
And if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.
4 He who observes the wind will not sow,
And he who sees the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the way of the wind,
Or how the bones grow in the womb of her
Who is with child,
So you do not know the works of God,
Even all things whatever He will do.
6 In the morning sow your seed,
And in the evening do not withhold your hand;
For you do not know which will prosper,
Either this or that,
Or whether both alike will be good.
7 The light is sweet,
And it is good for the eyes
To behold the sun.
8 For if a man lives many years
And rejoices in them all,
Yet let him remember the days of darkness,
For they shall be many.
All that comes is vanity.
Follow God in Your Youth
9 Be glad, O young man, in your youth,
And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth.
Walk in the ways of your heart
And in the sight of your eyes;
But know for all this
That God will bring you into judgment.
10 Therefore remove anger from your heart
And pass by evil with your flesh,
For youth and lack of understanding are vanity.
1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come
And the years arrive when you say,
“I have no will to face them”:
2 While the sun and the light,
The moon and the stars
Are not darkened,
And the clouds do not return after the rain;
3 In the day when the keepers of the house tremble,
And the men of strength are led astray;
When the women who grind the grain become idle
Because they are few;
When the women who look out the windows
Will remain in darkness;
4 When the doors are shut in the marketplace,
And the sound of grinding is low;
When one rises up at the sound of a sparrow,
And all the daughters of song are brought low.
5 Also they will look from the height,
And there are terrors in the way;
When the almond tree blossoms,
The grasshopper grows fat,
And the caper plant is scattered.
For man goes to his eternal home,
And the mourners go about the marketplace.
6 Remember your Creator until the silver cord is removed,
And the golden flower is pressed together,
And the pitcher is shattered at the fountain,
And the wheel runs together at the well;
7 Then the dust returns to the earth as it was,
And the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“All is vanity.”
9 Because the Preacher was wise more than others, he taught the people knowledge; and the ear will search out his well-ordered proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought diligently to find desirable words, and what was written is upright; they are words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are like pointed sticks, like nails firmly fastened; they are given from the collections and abound from them by one Shepherd. 12 Moreover, my son, guard yourself, for there is no end to the making of many books, and much study is weariness of the flesh.
13 Hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
And keep His commandments,
For this is the whole man.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including everything that has been overlooked,
Whether it be good or evil.
1 A psalm for Asaph.
The God of gods, the Lord, spoke, and summoned the earth
From the sun’s rising to its very setting.
2 From Zion in beauty’s splendor,
God will come openly;
3 He is our God, and He shall not be silent;
A fire shall be kindled before Him,
And there shall be a mighty storm round about Him.
4 He shall summon heaven above
And the earth to judge His people;
5 Gather His holy ones to Him,
Who establish His covenant upon sacrifices;
6 And the heavens declare His righteousness,
For God is Judge.
7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak to you,
O Israel, and I will testify against you;
I am God, your God.
8 I will not find fault with your sacrifices,
Because your whole burnt offerings are continually before Me.
9 I will not accept a young bull from your house,
Nor he-goats from your flocks.
10 For all the wild animals of the forest are Mine,
The cattle and the oxen in the hills.
11 I know all the birds of heaven,
And the ripe fruit of the field is with Me.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.
13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls,
Or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of praise,
And pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon Me in the day of affliction,
And I will deliver you; and you shall glorify Me.
12 A fountain of life is in the hand of a righteous man,
But the mouth of an ungodly man will hide destruction.
13 Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all who are not lovers of strife.
14 He who brings forth wisdom from his lips
Beats a heartless man with a rod.
15 The wise will hide perception,
But the mouth of a rash man approaches destruction.
16 The acquisition of riches is a fortified city,
But poverty is the destruction of the ungodly.
1 Corinthians 7:1–24
1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.
7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am;
9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Keep Your Marriage Vows
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.
11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.
13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
Live as You Are Called
17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches.
18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.
20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.
21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it.
22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave.
23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.