Ecclesiastes 10–12

1 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.

Chapter 11

1 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.

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.

Chapter 12

1 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.

Galatians 1

1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brothers who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel, 7 which is not a gospel. But there are some who trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 Although if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than the one we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so I say now again: If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than the one you have received, let him be accursed.

10 For am I now seeking the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please men? For if I were still trying to please men, I would not be the servant of Christ.

11 But I reveal to you, brothers, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, neither was I taught it, except by a revelation of Jesus Christ.

13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, 14 and progressed in Judaism above many of my equals in my own heritage, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who set me apart since I was in my mother’s womb and called me by His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the nations, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me. But I went into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

18 After three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!

21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia 22 and was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 They had heard only, “He who persecuted us in times past now preaches the faith which he once destroyed.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.