Ecclesiastes 9:1-18, NLT
Death Comes to All
1This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor.
3It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway.
5The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.
9Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.
11I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
12People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.
Thoughts on Wisdom and Folly
13Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works.
17Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person
than the shouts of a foolish king.
18Better to have wisdom than weapons of war,
but one sinner can destroy much that is good.