10 A dead fly causes a stench in mixed anointing oil,
so a little folly is more weighty than wisdom and honor.
2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of a fool to the left.
3 Even when a fool walks on the road,
he lacks sense,
and he shows everyone that he is a fool.
4 If the anger of a ruler rises against you,
do not leave your post;
for calmness pacifies great offenses.
5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun
like an error that goes out from a ruler:
6 Folly is set in many high places,
but the rich sit in a low place.
7 I have seen slaves riding on horses,
and officials walking along the ground like slaves.
8 He who digs a pit will fall into it,
and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.
9 He who quarries stones is injured by them,
and he who splits wood is in danger from them.
10 If an iron piece is blunt
and there is no one to sharpen it,
then he must prevail with more strength;
but wisdom is a benefit to succeed.
11 If a serpent bites before it is charmed,
there is no advantage to the charmer.
12 The words of a wise man’s mouth bring favor,
but the speech of a fool consumes him;
13 the beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness,
and the end of his talk is evil madness.
14 A fool multiplies words,
though no man knows what is to be;
who can tell him what will be after him?
15 The labor of the foolish makes him weary,
such that he does not know the way to the city!
16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a lad,
and your princes are feasting in the morning!
17 Happy are you, O land, when your king is from nobility,
and your princes are feasting at the appropriate time—
with self-control and not drunkenness!
18 The roof beams sink in with slothfulness,
and with the idleness of one’s hands the house drips.
19 They make feasts for laughter,
and wine gladdens life;
but money resolves everything.
20 Even in your mind do not curse the king;
and in your bedchamber do not curse the rich;
for a bird in the sky may carry your voice,
and a winged creature may declare the matter.
The Value of Diligence
11 Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
2 Give a portion to seven, or even eight,
for you do not know what calamity may happen on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain,
they empty out on the land;
and if a tree falls to the north or south,
in the place that the tree falls, there it will be.
4 He who observes the wind will not sow,
and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the way of the wind,
or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child;
likewise you do not know the work of God
who has made everything.
6 In the morning sow your seed,
and in the evening do not let your hand rest;
because you do not know which activity will find success,
this way or that way,
or if the both will be good.
Remember Your Creator in Your Youth
7 Light is sweet,
and good for the eyes to see the sun;
8 for if a man lives many years,
may he rejoice in all of them.
But let him also remember
that the days of darkness are many.
Everything that comes is vanity.
9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
and in your early years may your heart do you good;
walk in the path of your heart
and the desire of your eyes;
but know that in all these things
God will bring you into judgment.
10 Take away anger from your heart,
and remove distress from your body,
for youth and the dawn are vanity.
12 Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the difficult days come
and the years arrive when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:
2 before the sun, light,
moon, and stars are darkened,
and the clouds leave after the rain;
3 in the day when those watching the house tremble,
and the strong men are bent over;
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows have dimmed eyes;
4 and the doors on the street are shut,
and the sound of grinding is low;
and one rises up at the sound of a bird,
and all the daughters of song are brought low;
5 when they are afraid of heights,
even the terrors along the road;
the almond tree blossoms,
the grasshopper drags itself along
and desire fails,
because man goes to his eternal home,
and the mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember your Creator before the cord of silver is snapped,
or the bowl of gold smashed,
or the jar by the spring broken
or the wheel at the cistern crushed.
7 The dust returns to the earth where it was,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 It is all vanity, says the Preacher;
all is vanity.
9 And in addition to being wise, the Preacher still taught the people knowledge, and he considered, sought out, and arranged many proverbs. 10 And the Preacher sought to discover words of delight, and to write in uprightness words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the collected sayings are like firmly embedded nails, given by one shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness to the flesh.
13 Now all has been heard.
Let us hear the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every secret thing,
whether good or evil.
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
8 Moreover, brothers, we want you to experience the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia, 2 how in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty overflowed toward the riches of their generous giving. 3 For I bear record that according to their means, and beyond their means, they freely gave, 4 begging us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of ministering to the saints. 5 This they did, not as we expected. First, they gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this gracious deed for you. 7 But as you abound in everything—in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love to us—see that you abound in this grace also.
8 I say this not as a command, but to prove through the authenticity of others, the sincerity also of your love. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that through His poverty you might be rich.
10 And in this matter I give my advice. It is appropriate for you, who began last year not only to give, but also to willingly give. 11 Now therefore complete the task, so that, as there was a willingness to do so, there may be a performance of it according to your means. 12 For if there is a willing mind first, the gift is accepted according to what a man possesses and not according to what he does not possess.
13 I do not mean that other men have relief, and you be burdened, 14 but for equality, that your abundance now at this time may supply their need, and their abundance may supply your need—that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had no excess. And he who gathered little had no lack.”[a]
For the Music Director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
1 Hear this, all you people;
give ear, all you inhabitants of the world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor together.
3 My mouth will speak wisdom,
and the meditation of my heart will be understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a parable;
I will expound my riddle with a harp.
5 Why should I fear in the days of evil,
when the iniquity of my stalkers surrounds me?
6 Those who trust in their wealth,
and boast in the multitude of their riches,
7 none of them can by any means redeem the other,
nor give to God a ransom for anyone,
8 for the redemption of their souls is costly;
even so people cease to exist forever,
9 making efforts to live eternally,
and not see the pit.
10 For one sees that wise men die,
together the fool and the brute perish,
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves become their perpetual homes,
and their dwelling places to all generations,
though they call their lands after their own names.
12 But a man does not abide in honor;
mankind is like the beasts that come to ruin.
13 This is their way, it is their folly;
yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
and their form shall waste away in Sheol,
far from their dwelling.
15 But God shall redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,
for He shall receive me. Selah
16 Do not fear when one is made rich,
when the glory of his house is increased,
17 for he takes nothing away in death;
his glory does not descend after him.
18 Though while he lives he blesses his soul—
and men will praise you when you do well for yourself—
19 that soul will go to the generation of his fathers;
they will never see light.
20 A man in honor, and yet without understanding,
is like the animals that perish.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
in counsels and knowledge,
21 that I might make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
that you might answer the words of truth
to those who send to you?