1 The words of the Gatherer, the son of the Vomiter. The vision that the man spoke. God is with him, and he, being strengthened by God and abiding with him, said:
2 “I am the most foolish among men, and the wisdom of men is not with me.
3 I have not learned wisdom, and I have not known the knowledge of sanctity.
4 Who has ascended to heaven and also descended? Who has grasped the wind in his hands? Who has tied the waters together, as with a garment? Who has raised all the limits of the earth? What is his name, and what is the name of his son, if you know?
5 Every word of God is fire-tested. He is a bronze shield to those who hope in him.
6 Do not add anything to his words, lest you be reproved and be discovered to be a liar.
7 Two things I have asked of you; do not deny them to me before I die.
8 Remove, far from me, vanity and lying words. Give me neither begging, nor wealth. Apportion to me only the necessities of my life,
9 lest perhaps, being filled, I might be enticed into denial, and say: ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or, being compelled by destitution, I might steal, and then perjure myself in the name of my God.
10 Do not accuse a servant to his lord, lest he curse you, and you fall.
11 There is a generation which curses their father, and which does not bless their mother.
12 There is a generation which seems pure to themselves, and yet they are not even washed from their filthiness.
13 There is a generation, whose eyes have been elevated, and their eyelids are lifted on high.
14 There is a generation which has swords in place of teeth, and which commands their molars to devour the indigent from the earth and the poor from among men.
15 The leech has two daughters, who say, ‘Bring, bring.’ Three things are insatiable, and a fourth never says ‘Enough’:
16 Hell, and the mouth of the womb, and a land that is not filled with water. And truly, fire never says, ‘Enough.’
17 The eye of one who mocks his father and who despises the childbearing of his mother, let the ravens of the torrent tear it out, and let the sons of the eagles consume it.
18 Three things are difficult for me, and about a fourth, I am nearly ignorant:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the middle of the sea, and the way of a man in adolescence.
20 Such is the way also of an adulterous woman, who eats, and wiping her mouth, says: “I have done no evil.”
21 By three things, the earth is moved, and a fourth it is not able to sustain:
22 by a slave when he reigns, by the foolish when he has been filled with food,
23 by a hateful woman when she has been taken in matrimony, and by a handmaid when she has been heir to her mistress.
24 Four things are least upon the earth, and they are wiser than the wise:
25 the ants, an infirm people who provide food for themselves at the harvest,
26 the rabbit, a sickened people who make their bed upon the rock.
27 The locust has no king, but they all depart by their troops.
28 The lizard supports itself on hands and dwells in the buildings of kings.
29 There are three things that advance well, and a fourth that marches happily on:
30 a lion, the strongest of beasts, who fears nothing that he meets,
31 a rooster prepared at the loins, likewise a ram, and a king, whom none can resist.
32 There is one who has appeared foolish, after he was lifted up on high; for if he had understood, he would have placed his hand over his mouth.
33 But whoever strongly squeezes the udder to bring out the milk, presses out butter. And whoever violently blows his nose, brings out blood. And whoever provokes wrath, brings forth discord.”