(1) A good name is better than fragrant oil, and the day of death than the day of birth. (2) It is better to go to a house of mourning than to a house of feasting; for that is the end of every man, and a living one should take it to heart. (3) Vexation is better than revelry; for though the face be sad, the heart may be glad. (4) Wise men are drawn to a house of mourning, and fools to a house of merrymaking. (5) It is better to listen to a wise man’s reproof than to listen to the praise of fools. (6) For the levity of the fool is like the crackling of nettles under a kettle. But that too is illusory; (7) for cheating may rob the wise man of reason and destroy the prudence of the cautious. (8) The end of a matter is better than the beginning of it. Better a patient spirit than a haughty spirit. (9) Don’t let your spirit be quickly vexed, for vexation abides in the breasts of fools. (10) Don’t say, “How has it happened that former times were better than these?” For it is not wise of you to ask that question. (11) Wisdom is as good as a patrimony, and even better, for those who behold the sun. (12) For to be in the shelter of wisdom is to be also in the shelter of money, and the advantage of intelligence is that wisdom preserves the life of him who possesses it. (13) Consider God’s doing! Who can straighten what He has twisted? (14) So in a time of good fortune enjoy the good fortune; and in a time of misfortune, reflect: The one no less than the other was God’s doing; consequently, man may find no fault with Him. (15) In my own brief span of life, I have seen both these things: sometimes a good man perishes in spite of his goodness, and sometimes a wicked one endures in spite of his wickedness. (16) So don’t overdo goodness and don’t act the wise man to excess, or you may be dumfounded. (17) Don’t overdo wickedness and don’t be a fool, or you may die before your time. (18) It is best that you grasp the one without letting go of the other, for one who fears God will do his duty by both. (19) Wisdom is more of a stronghold to a wise man than ten magnates that a city may contain. (20) For there is not one good man on earth who does what is best and doesn’t err. (21) Finally, don’t pay attention to everything that is said, so that you may not hear your slave reviling you; (22) for well you remember the many times that you yourself have reviled others. (23) All this I tested with wisdom. I thought I could fathom it, but it eludes me. (24) [The secret of] what happens is elusive and deep, deep down; who can discover it? (25) I put my mind to studying, exploring, and seeking wisdom and the reason of things, and to studying wickedness, stupidity, madness, and folly. (26) Now, I find woman more bitter than death; she is all traps, her hands are fetters and her heart is snares. He who is pleasing to God escapes her, and he who is displeasing is caught by her. (27) See, this is what I found, said Koheleth, item by item in my search for the reason of things. (28) As for what I sought further but did not find, I found only one human being in a thousand, and the one I found among so many was never a woman. (29) But, see, this I did find: God made men plain, but they have engaged in too much reasoning.