1 I have drawn all these things through my heart, so that I might carefully understand. There are just men as well as wise men, and their works are in the hand of God. And yet a man does not know so much as whether he is worthy of love or of hatred.
2 But all things in the future remain uncertain, because all things happen equally to the just and to the impious, to the good and to the bad, to the pure and to the impure, to those who offer sacrifices and to those who despise sacrifices. As the good are, so also are sinners. As those who commit perjury are, so also are those who swear to the truth.
3 This is a very great burden among all things that are done under the sun: that the same things happen to everyone. And when the hearts of the sons of men are filled with malice and contempt in their lives, afterwards they shall be dragged down to hell.
4 There is no one who lives forever, or who even has confidence in this regard. A living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they themselves will die, yet truly the dead know nothing anymore, nor do they have any recompense. For the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Likewise, love and hatred and envy have all perished together, nor have they any place in this age and in the work which is done under the sun.
7 So then, go and eat your bread with rejoicing, and drink your wine with gladness. For your works are pleasing to God.
8 Let your garments be white at all times, and let not oil be absent from your head.
9 Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your uncertain life which have been given to you under the sun, during all the time of your vanity. For this is your portion in life and in your labor, with which you labor under the sun.
10 Whatever your hand is able to do, do it earnestly. For neither work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge will exist in death, toward which you are hurrying.
11 I turned myself toward another thing, and 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 wealth to the learned, nor grace to the skilful: but there is a time and an end for all these things.
12 Man does not know his own end. But, just as fish are caught with a hook, and birds are captured with a snare, so are men seized in the evil time, when it will suddenly overwhelm them.
13 This wisdom, likewise, I have seen under the sun, and I have examined it intensely.
14 There was a small city, with a few men in it. There came against it a great king, who surrounded it, and built fortifications all around it, and the blockade was completed.
15 And there was found within it, a poor and wise man, and he freed the city through his wisdom, and nothing was recorded afterward of that poor man.
16 And so, I declared that wisdom is better than strength. But how is it, then, that the wisdom of the poor man is treated with contempt, and his words are not heeded?
17 The words of the wise are heard in silence, more so than the outcry of a prince among the foolish.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war. And whoever offends in one thing, shall lose many good things.
1 Dying flies ruin the sweetness of the ointment. Wisdom and glory is more precious than a brief and limited foolishness.
2 The heart of a wise man is in his right hand, and the heart of a foolish man is in his left hand.
3 Moreover, as a foolish man is walking along the way, even though he himself is unwise, he considers everyone to be foolish.
4 If the spirit of one who holds authority rises over you, do not leave your place, because attentiveness will cause the greatest sins to cease.
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, proceeding from the presence of a prince, as if by mistake:
6 a foolish man appointed to a high dignity, and the rich sitting beneath him.
7 I have seen servants on horses, and princes walking on the ground like servants.
8 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it. And whoever tears apart a hedge, a snake will bite him.
9 Whoever carries away stones will be harmed by them. And whoever cuts down trees will be wounded by them.
10 If the iron is dull, and if it was not that way before, but has been made dull by much labor, then it will be sharpened. And wisdom will follow after diligence.
11 Whoever slanders in secret is nothing less than a snake that bites silently.
12 Words from the mouth of a wise man are graceful, but the lips of a foolish man will throw him down with violence.
13 At the beginning of his words is foolishness, and at the end of his talk is a most grievous error.
14 The fool multiplies his words. A man does not know what has been before him, and who is able to reveal to him what will be in the future after him?
15 The hardship of the foolish will afflict those who do not know to go into the city.
16 Woe to you, the land whose king is a boy, and whose princes consume in the morning.
17 Blessed is the land whose king is noble, and whose princes eat at the proper time, for refreshment and not for self-indulgence.
18 By laziness, a framework shall be brought down, and by the weakness of hands, a house shall collapse through.
19 While laughing, they make bread and wine, so that the living may feast. And all things are obedient to money.
20 You should not slander the king, even in your thoughts, and you should not speak evil of a wealthy man, even in your private chamber. For even the birds of the air will carry your voice, and whatever has wings will announce your opinion.
1 Cast your bread over running waters. For, after a long time, you shall find it again.
2 Give a portion to seven, and indeed even to eight. For you do not know what evil may be upon the earth in the future.
3 If the clouds have been filled, they will pour forth rain upon the earth. If a tree falls to the south, or to the north, or to whatever direction it may fall, there it shall remain.
4 Whoever heeds the wind will not sow. And whoever considers the clouds will never reap.
5 In the same manner that you do not know the way of the spirit, nor the way that bones are joined together in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you do not know the works of God, who is the Maker of all.
6 In the morning, sow your seed, and in the evening, do not let your hand cease. For you do not know which of these may rise up, the one or the other. But if both rise up together, so much the better.
7 Light is pleasant, and it is delightful for the eyes to see the sun.
8 If a man lives for many years, and if he has rejoiced in all of these, he must remember the many days of the dark times, which, when they will have arrived, will accuse the past of vanity.
9 So then, rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart remain in what is good during the days of your youth. And walk in the ways of your heart, and with the perception of your eyes. And know that, concerning all these things, God will bring you to judgment.
10 Remove anger from your heart, and set aside evil from your flesh. For youth and pleasure are empty.
1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the time of affliction arrives and the years draw near, about which you will say, “These do not please me.”
2 Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain,
3 when the guardians of the house will tremble, and the strongest men will waver, and those who grind grain will be idle, except for a small number, and those who look through the keyholes will be darkened.
4 And they will close the doors to the street, when the voice of he who grinds the grain will be humbled, and they will be disturbed at the sound of a flying thing, and all the daughters of song shall become deaf.
5 Likewise, they will fear the things above them, and they will dread the way. The almond tree will flourish; the locust will be fattened; and the caper plant will scattered, because man shall go into the house of his eternity, and the mourners shall wander around in the street.
6 Before the silver cord is broken, and the golden band pulls away, and the pitcher is crushed over the fountain, and the wheel is broken above the cistern,
7 and the dust returns to its earth, from which it was, and the spirit returns to God, who granted it.
8 Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, and all is vanity!
9 And since Ecclesiastes was very wise, he taught the people, and he described what he had accomplished. And while searching, he composed many parables.
10 He sought useful words, and he wrote most righteous words, which were full of truth.
11 The words of the wise are like a goad, and like nails deeply fastened, which, through the counsel of teachers, are set forth by one pastor.
12 You should require no more than this, my son. For there is no end to the making of many books. And excessive study is an affliction to the flesh.
13 Let us all listen together to the end of the discourse. Fear God, and observe his commandments. This is everything for man.
14 And so, for all that is done and for each error, God will bring judgment: whether it was good or evil.
24 And he took gold, and silver, and vestments, and many other presents, and he went to the king at Ptolemais, and he found favor in his sight.
25 And some of the iniquitous from his nation came forward with objections against him.
26 And the king treated him just as those who were before him had treated him. And he exalted him in the sight of all his friends.
27 And he confirmed him in the high priesthood and in all the other honors that he held before, and he made him the leader of his friends.
28 And Jonathan requested of the king that he would make Judea free from tribute, along with the three districts, and Samaria, and its confines. And he promised him three hundred talents.
29 And the king consented. And he wrote letters to Jonathan about all these things, continuing in this way:
30 King Demetrius to his brother Jonathan, and to the nation of the Jews: greetings.
31 We are sending you a copy of the letter that we wrote to Lasthenes, our parent, about you, so that you will know.
32 ‘King Demetrius to Lasthenes, his parent: greetings.
33 We have determined to do good to the people of the Jews, who are our friends and who keep to what is just with us, because of their good will, which they hold toward us.
34 Therefore, we have assigned to them all the parts of Judea, and the three cities, Lydda and Ramatha, which were added to Judea from Samaria, and all their confines, to be set apart for all those sacrificing in Jerusalem, in place of that which the king previously received from them each year, and in place of the fruits of the land and of the fruit trees.
35 And, as for the rest of that which pertains to us from tithes and tributes, from this time forward, we release them from these, as well as from the drying areas of salt and the crowns that were presented to us.
36 All these, we concede to them, and nothing of these shall be revoked, from this time forward and for all time.
37 Now, therefore, take care to make a copy of these things, and let it be given to Jonathan and set upon the holy mountain, in an honorable place.’ “
38 And king Demetrius, seeing that the land was quieted in his sight and that nothing resisted him, sent all his forces away, each one to his own place, except the foreign army, which he had drawn together from the islands of the nations. And so all the troops of his fathers were hostile to him.
39 But there was a certain one, Trypho, who was previously on Alexander’s side. And he saw that all the army murmured against Demetrius, and so he went to Imalkue the Arab, who raised Antiochus, the son of Alexander.
40 And he persuaded him to deliver him to him, so that he would reign in his father’s place. And he reported to him what Demetrius had done, and that his army was hostile to him. And he remained there for many days.
41 And Jonathan sent to king Demetrius, so that he would cast out those who were in the stronghold in Jerusalem and those who were with the garrisons, because they fought against Israel.
42 And Demetrius sent to Jonathan, saying: “I will not only do this for you and your people, but I will elevate your glory and your nation, when opportunity shall serve.
43 Now, therefore, you will do well if you send men as auxiliaries to me. For all my army has withdrawn from me.”
1 Blessed are all they that fear the Lord: that walk in his ways.
2 For thou shalt eat the labours of thy hands: blessed art thou, and it shall be well with thee.
3 Thy wife as a fruitful vine, on the sides of thy house.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.
5 May the Lord bless thee out of Sion: and mayest thou see the good things of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.
6 And mayest thou see thy children’s children, peace upon Israel.
1 Furthermore, since we also have so great a cloud of witnesses over us, let us set aside every burden and sin which may surround us, and advance, through patience, to the struggle offered to us.
2 Let us gaze upon Jesus, as the Author and the completion of our faith, who, having joy laid out before him, endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and who now sits at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 So then, meditate upon him who endured such adversity from sinners against himself, so that you may not become weary, failing in your souls.
4 For you have not yet resisted unto blood, while striving against sin.
5 And you have forgotten the consolation which speaks to you like sons, saying: “My son, do not be willing to neglect the discipline of the Lord. Neither should you become weary, while being rebuked by him.”
6 For whomever the Lord loves, he chastises. And every son whom he accepts, he scourges.
7 Persevere in discipline. God presents you to himself as sons. But what son is there, whom his father does not correct?
8 But if you are without that discipline in which all have become sharers, then you are of adultery, and you are not sons.
9 Then, too, we have certainly had the fathers of our flesh as instructors, and we reverenced them. Should we not obey the Father of spirits all the more, and so live?
10 And indeed, for a few days and according to their own wishes, they instructed us. But he does so to our benefit, so that we may receive his sanctification.
11 Now every discipline, in the present time, does not seem a gladness, of course, but a grief. But afterwards, it will repay a most peaceful fruit of justice to those who become trained in it.
12 Because of this, lift up your lazy hands and your lax knees,
13 and straighten the path of your feet, so that no one, being lame, may wander astray, but instead may be healed.
14 Pursue peace with everyone. Pursue sanctity, without which no one shall see God.
15 Be contemplative, lest anyone lack the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness spring up and impede you, and by it, many might be defiled,
16 lest any fornicator or worldly person be like Esau, who, for the sake of one meal, sold his birthright.
17 For you know that afterwards, when he desired to inherit the benediction, he was rejected. For he found no place for repentance, even though he had sought it with tears.