Through My Bible Yr 02 – November 18

Ecclesiastes 7 – 8

Through My Bible – November 18

Ecclesiastes 7 – 8 (EHV)

See series: Through My Bible

What Is Better?

Ecclesiastes 7

A good reputation is better than the best perfume, and the day of one’s death is better than the day of his birth. Better to go to a funeral than to a feast, [1] since death is the final destination for all mankind. The living must take this to heart! Grief is better than laughter, because a sad face does a heart good.

The hearts of the wise think about the funeral, but the hearts of fools think about the feast. It is better to hear a rebuke from a wise man than to listen to a happy song from fools, for the fool’s laughter sounds like thorns crackling under a cooking pot. This too is vapor.

To be sure, oppressing others [2] turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe corrupts his heart.

It is better to finish something than to begin something. A patient spirit is better than a proud spirit.

Do not be quick to lose your temper, for outrage is embraced by fools.

10 Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” Wisdom would not lead you to ask such a question.

11 Wisdom along with an inheritance [3] is good. It is an advantage for those who see the sun, 12 because wisdom gives shade as money gives shade, but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom keeps its owner alive.

Keep Your Balance

13 Look at the work of God. Indeed, who can straighten what he has bent?

14 On a good day, enjoy the good, but on a bad day, consider carefully. God has made the one as well as the other, so no man can find out about anything that will come later.

15 During my days that vanish like vapor, I have seen it all. For instance, a righteous man perishes despite being righteous, while an evil man lives for a long time in spite of his evil.

16 Do not be overly righteous. Do not trust too much in wisdom. Why ruin yourself? 17 Do not be overly wicked, either, and do not be a fool. Why die before your time? 18 It is good that you hang on to one alternative, but do not let go of the other, for one who fears God will avoid both extremes. [4]

19 Wisdom makes one wise man stronger than ten rulers who are in the city.

20 There is surely not a righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin.

21 Furthermore, do not take to heart all the words people say, so that you do not hear your servant cursing you. 22 Yes, you know in your heart that many times you too have cursed others.

23 All this I tested with wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,” but it was out of reach for me. 24 What has already happened is out of reach, and deeper than deep. Who can find it?

25 I turned my heart to know, to investigate, and to seek wisdom, and to find out how things fit together, [5] and to know that wickedness is foolishness and stupidity is madness.

26 I kept finding out that a woman whose heart is a trap is more bitter than death. Her heart is a hunter’s net. Her hands are chains. The man whom God recognizes as good will escape from her, but the sinner gets trapped by her.

27 “Look,” says Ecclesiastes, “this is what I found by adding one thing to another in my attempts to find how things fit together— 28 this is something my soul keeps seeking but has not found. One man out of a thousand I have found, but a woman among all these I have not found. [6]

29 “Look, I have found only this: I have found that God made mankind [7] upright, but they have gone off looking for many schemes.”

Ecclesiastes 8

Who is such a wise man? And who knows how to explain a situation? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine and softens the hard look on his face.

Obey the king’s command [8] because of your oath before God. [9] Do not quickly leave his presence. Do not stand up for [10] a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases. For a king’s word is supreme, and who will say to him, “What are you doing?”

Whoever obeys a command will experience no harm, and a wise heart will know the right time and the right way to act, because for each situation there is a right time and a right way to act, although evil may weigh a man down. But no one knows what will be. Indeed, who can tell him what will be? [11] As no one has power to restrain the wind, there is no power over the day of death. No discharge is granted during war, and wickedness will not deliver those who practice it.

Life Is Not Fair

All this I saw while I was applying my heart to every work done under the sun, during this time when one man has power over another to harm him. [12] 10 While doing this, I have seen wicked people buried. They had come and gone from the holy place, and they were praised [13] in the city where they had done so! This too is vapor.

11 When the sentence for a crime is not carried out quickly, people’s hearts are emboldened to do evil.

12 Though a sinner commits a hundred crimes and lives for a long time, [14] I nevertheless know that it will turn out well for those who fear God, who stand in awe before him. 13 But it will not be good for the wicked. Such a man will not lengthen his days like a shadow, since he does not stand in fear before God.

14 Another example of vapor that appears on the earth is when righteous people get what the wicked deserve for their actions, and wicked people get what the righteous deserve for their actions. I said, “This too is vapor.”

15 So I sang the praises of pleasure, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. Such joy will stay with him during his hard work, throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.

16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to observe the tiresome business done on the earth (even though it keeps a person from sleeping day or night), 17 I saw everything that God has done, but no man can grasp all the work that is done under the sun. No matter how hard a man works to explore it, he cannot discover it all. Even if the wise man claims to know it, he cannot find it.


  1. Ecclesiastes 7:2 The word translated feast refers to drinking more than to eating.
  2. Ecclesiastes 7:7 Or extortion
  3. Ecclesiastes 7:11 Or like an inheritance
  4. Ecclesiastes 7:18 Or observe both principles
  5. Ecclesiastes 7:25 Or the reason for things
  6. Ecclesiastes 7:28 The text does not give any indication of what the point of comparison is. Suggestions include one man who has come to the same conclusions I did or one man just as eager to investigate as I am or one ideal man out of a thousand.
  7. Ecclesiastes 7:29 Or Adam
  8. Ecclesiastes 8:2 The translation follows the ancient versions and some Hebrew manuscripts. The main Hebrew reading is I obey the king’s command or I say, obey the king’s command.
  9. Ecclesiastes 8:2 Or God’s oath to him
  10. Ecclesiastes 8:3 Or persist in
  11. Ecclesiastes 8:7 Or who can tell him when it will happen
  12. Ecclesiastes 8:9 Or one man has power over another to his own detriment
  13. Ecclesiastes 8:10 The translation follows the Greek and some Hebrew manuscripts. Most Hebrew manuscripts read but they were forgotten.
  14. Ecclesiastes 8:12 Or gets away with it

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.