1 Omnia haec contuli in corde meo, ut curiose intellegerem quod iusti atque sapientes et opera eorum sunt in manu Dei. Utrum amor sit an odium, omnino nescit homo: coram illis omnia.
2 Sicut omnibus sors una: iusto et impio, bono et malo, mundo et immundo, immolanti victimas et non immolanti. Sicut bonus sic et peccator; ut qui iurat, ita et ille qui iuramentum timet.
3 Hoc est pessimum inter omnia, quae sub sole fiunt, quia sors eadem cunctis; unde et corda filiorum hominum implentur malitia et stultitia in vita sua, et novissima eorum apud mortuos.
4 Qui enim sociatur omnibus viventibus, habet fiduciam: melior est canis vivus leone mortuo.
5 Viventes enim sciunt se esse morituros; mortui vero nihil noverunt amplius nec habent ultra mercedem, quia oblivioni tradita est memoria eorum.
6 Amor quoque eorum et odium et invidiae simul perierunt, nec iam habent partem in hoc saeculo et in opere, quod sub sole geritur.
7 Vade ergo et comede in laetitia panem tuum et bibe cum gaudio vinum tuum, etenim iam diu placuerunt Deo opera tua.
8 Omni tempore sint vestimenta tua candida, et oleum de capite tuo non deficiat.
9 Perfruere vita cum uxore, quam diligis, cunctis diebus vitae instabilitatis tuae, qui dati sunt tibi sub sole omni tempore vanitatis tuae: haec est enim pars in vita et in labore tuo, quo laboras sub sole.
10 Quodcumque facere potest manus tua, instanter operare, quia nec opus nec ratio nec sapientia nec scientia erunt apud inferos, quo tu properas.
11 Verti me ad aliud et vidi sub sole nec velocium esse cursum nec fortium bellum nec sapientium panem nec doctorum divitias nec prudentium gratiam, sed tempus casumque in omnibus.
12 Insuper nescit homo finem suum, sed sicut pisces capiuntur sagena mala, et sicut aves laqueo comprehenduntur, sic capiuntur homines in tempore malo, cum eis extemplo supervenerit.
13 Hanc quoque sub sole vidi sapientiam et probavi maximam:
14 civitas parva, et pauci in ea viri; venit contra eam rex magnus et vallavit eam exstruxitque munitiones magnas per gyrum.
15 Inventusque est in ea vir pauper et sapiens et liberavit urbem per sapientiam suam; et nullus deinceps recordatus est hominis illius pauperis.
16 Et dicebam ego meliorem esse sapientiam fortitudine, sed sapientia pauperis contemnitur, et verba eius non sunt audita.
17 Verba sapientium cum lenitate audiuntur plus quam clamor principis inter stultos.
18 Melior est sapientia quam arma bellica; sed unus, qui peccaverit, multa bona perdet.
King James Version
1 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.
2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
4 ¶ For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
7 ¶ Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
11 ¶ I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
13 ¶ This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:
14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:
15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.
16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.