Man knows not certainty that he is in God's grace. After death no more work or merit.
1 All these things have I considered in my heart, that I might carefully understand them: there are just men and wise men, and their works are in the hand of God: and yet man knoweth not whether he be worthy of love, or hatred:
Omnia haec tractavi in corde meo, ut curiose intelligerem. Sunt justi atque sapientes, et opera eorum in manu Dei; et tamen nescit homo utrum amore an odio dignus sit.
2 But all things are kept uncertain for the time to come, because all things equally happen to the just and to the wicked, to the good and to the evil, to the clean and to the unclean, to him that offereth victims, and to him that despiseth sacrifices. As the good is, so also is the sinner: as the perjured, so he also that sweareth truth.
Sed omnia in futurum servantur incerta, eo quod universa aeque eveniant justo et impio, bono et malo, mundo et immundo, immolanti victimas et sacrificia contemnenti. Sicut bonus, sic et peccator; ut perjurus, ita et ille qui verum dejerat.
3 This is a very great evil among all things that are done under the sun, that the same things happen to all men: whereby also the hearts of the children of men are filled with evil, and with contempt while they live, and afterwards they shall be brought down to hell.
Hoc est pessimum inter omnia quae sub sole fiunt : quia eadem cunctis eveniunt. Unde et corda filiorum hominum implentur malitia et contemptu in vita sua, et post haec ad inferos deducentur.
4 There is no man that liveth always, or that hopeth for this: a living dog is better than a dead lion.
Nemo est qui semper vivat, et qui hujus rei habeat fiduciam; melior est canis vivus leone mortuo.
5 For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing more, neither have they a reward any more: for the memory of them is forgotten.
Viventes enim sciunt se esse morituros; mortui vero nihil noverunt amplius, nec habent ultra mercedem, quia oblivioni tradita est memoria eorum.
6 Their love also, and their hatred, and their envy are all perished, neither have they any part in this world, and in the work that is done under the sun.
Amor quoque, et odium, et invidiae simul perierunt; nec habent partem in hoc saeculo, et in opere quod sub sole geritur.
7 Go then, and eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with gladness: because thy works please God.
Vade ergo, et comede in laetitia panem tuum, et bibe cum gaudio vinum tuum, quia Deo placent opera tua.
8 At all times let thy garments be white, and let not oil depart from thy head.
Omni tempore sint vestimenta tua candida, et oleum de capite tuo non deficiat.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest, all the days of thy unsteady life, which are given to thee under the sun, all the time of thy vanity: for this is thy portion in life, and in thy labour wherewith thou labourest under the sun.
Perfruere vinum 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 Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly: for neither work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge shall be in hell, whither thou art hastening.
Quodcumque facere potest manus tua, instanter operare, quia nec opus, nec ratio, nec sapientia, nec scientia erunt apud inferos, quo tu properas.
11 I turned me to 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 riches to the learned, nor favour to the skillful: but time and chance in all.
Verti me ad aliud, et vidi sub sole nec velocium esse cursum, nec fortium bellum, nec sapientium panem, nec doctorum divitias, nec artificum gratiam; sed tempus casumque in omnibus.
12 Man knoweth not his own end: but as fishes are taken with the hook, and as birds are caught with the snare, so men are taken in the evil time, when it shall suddenly come upon them.
Nescit homo finem suum; sed sicut pisces capiuntur hamo, et sicut aves laqueo comprehenduntur, sic capiuntur homines in tempore malo, cum eis extemplo supervenerit.
13 This wisdom also I have seen under the sun, and it seemed to me to be very great:
Hanc quoque sub sole vidi sapientiam, et probavi maximam :
14 A little city, and few men in it: there came against it a great king, and invested it, and built bulwarks round about it, and the siege was perfect.
civitas parva, et pauci in ea viri; venit contra eam rex magnus, et vallavit eam, exstruxitque munitiones per gyrum, et perfecta est obsidio.
15 Now there was found in it a man poor and wise, and he delivered the city by his wisdom, and no man afterward remembered that poor man.
Inventusque est in ea vir pauper et sapiens, et liberavit urbem per sapientiam suam; et nullus deinceps recordatus est hominis illius pauperis.
16 And I said that wisdom is better than strength: how then is the wisdom of the poor man slighted, and his words not heard?
Et dicebam ego meliorem esse sapientiam fortitudine. Quomodo ergo sapientia pauperis contempta est, et verba ejus non sunt audita?
17 The words of the wise are heard in silence, more than the cry of a prince among fools.
Verba sapientium audiuntur in silentio, plus quam clamor principis inter stultos.
18 Better is wisdom, than weapons of war: and he that shall offend in one, shall lose many good things.
Melior est sapientia quam arma bellica; et qui in uno peccaverit, multa bona perdet.