Ecclesiastes 9 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Is Death Fair?
9 I ·thought about [L gave my heart to] all this and ·tried to understand it [L examined all this]. ·I saw that God controls good people and wise people and what they do [L The righteous and the wise and their works are all in the hand of God], but no one knows if ·they will experience love or hate [L love or hate awaits them].
2 ·Good [Righteous] and ·bad [wicked] people ·end up the same [have the same fate]—
3 This is ·something wrong [the evil] that happens ·here on earth [L under the sun; 1:3]: ·What happens to one happens to [L There is one fate for] all. So people’s ·minds [L hearts] are full of ·evil and foolish thoughts [madness] while they live. After that, they join the dead. 4 But anyone ·still alive [joined to the living] has hope; even a live dog [C considered contemptible] is better off than a dead lion [C a noble animal]!
5 The living know they will die,
Enjoy Life While You Can
7 So go eat your food ·and enjoy it [L with gladness];
9 Enjoy life with the wife you love. Enjoy all the useless [1:2] days of this useless [1:2] life God has given you ·here on earth [L under the sun; 1:3], because it is ·all you have [L your lot/reward/portion in life]. So enjoy the ·work [toil] you do ·here on earth [L under the sun; 1:3]. 10 Whatever ·work you [L your hand finds to] do, do ·your best [L with all your strength], because you are going to ·the grave [L Sheol], where there is no ·working [or action], no ·planning [or thought], no knowledge, and no wisdom [2:24–26; 3:12–14, 22; 5:18–20; 8:15; C such activities and pleasures are distractions from the meaninglessness of life].
Time and Chance
11 I also ·saw [L turned and observed] something else ·here on earth [L under the sun; 1:3]:
Wisdom Does Not Always Win
13 I also saw something wise ·here on earth [L under the sun; 1:3] that impressed me. 14 There was a small town with only a few people in it. A great king ·fought against [invaded] it and ·put his armies all around it [L built great siegeworks against it]. 15 Now there was a poor but wise man in the town who used his wisdom to ·save [rescue] his town. But later on, ·everyone forgot about him [L no one remembered that poor wise man]. 16 I ·still think [L said that] wisdom is better than strength. But ·those people forgot about the poor man’s wisdom [L the wisdom of the poor wise man was despised], and they stopped listening to what he said.
17 The quiet words of a wise person are better