7 A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 5 It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity.[a] 7 Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart. 8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart[b] of fools. 10 Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. 11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun. 12 For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. 13 Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
15 In my vain[c] life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.16 Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?17 Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?18 It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.
19 Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.
20 Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
21 Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.22 Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.
23 All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.24 That which has been is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out?
25 I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness.26 And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her.27 Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things—28 which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found.29 See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.
Keep the King's Command
8 Who is like the wise? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.
2 I say:[d] Keep the king's command, because of God's oath to him.[e]3 Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases.4 For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, “What are you doing?”5 Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.[f]6 For there is a time and a way for everything, although man's trouble[g] lies heavy on him.7 For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be?8 No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it.9 All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt.
Those Who Fear God Will Do Well
10 Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised[h] in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity.[i]11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him.13 But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
Man Cannot Know God's Ways
14 There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.15 And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.
16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one's eyes see sleep,17 then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.
Death Comes to All
9 But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him.2 It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil,[j] to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.4 But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.6 Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.
Enjoy Life with the One You Love
7 Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.
8 Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.
9 Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain[k] life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,[l] for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Wisdom Better Than Folly
11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
13 I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me.14 There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it.15 But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man.16 But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man's wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.
17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
Acts 11English Standard Version (ESV)
Peter Reports to the Church
11 Now the apostles and the brothers[a] who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party[b] criticized him, saying,3 “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.”4 But Peter began and explained it to them in order:5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me.6 Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air.7 And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’8 But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’9 But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven.11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea.12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man's house.13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter;14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?”18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
The Church in Antioch
19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews.20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists[c] also, preaching the Lord Jesus.21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose,24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul,26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius).29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers[d] living in Judea.30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.