Ecclesiastes 3:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I said to myself, "God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed."

New Living Translation
I said to myself, "In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds."

English Standard Version
I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.

New American Standard Bible
I said to myself, "God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man," for a time for every matter and for every deed is there.

King James Bible
I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I said to myself, "God will judge the righteous and the wicked, since there is a time for every activity and every work."

International Standard Version
I told myself, "God will judge both the righteous and the wicked, because there is a time set to judge every event and every work."

NET Bible
I thought to myself, "God will judge both the righteous and the wicked; for there is an appropriate time for every activity, and there is a time of judgment for every deed.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I thought to myself, "God will judge righteous people as well as wicked people, because there is a specific time for every activity and every work that is done."

Jubilee Bible 2000
I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time determined to judge every will and regarding everything that is done.

King James 2000 Bible
I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time for every purpose and for every work.

American King James Version
I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

American Standard Version
I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I said in my heart: God shall judge both the just and the wicked, and then shall be the time of every thing.

Darby Bible Translation
I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

English Revised Version
I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

Webster's Bible Translation
I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

World English Bible
I said in my heart, "God will judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work."

Young's Literal Translation
I said in my heart, 'The righteous and the wicked doth God judge, for a time is to every matter and for every work there.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:16-22 Without the fear of the Lord, man is but vanity; set that aside, and judges will not use their power well. And there is another Judge that stands before the door. With God there is a time for the redressing of grievances, though as yet we see it not. Solomon seems to express his wish that men might perceive, that by choosing this world as their portion, they brought themselves to a level with the beasts, without being free, as they are, from present vexations and a future account. Both return to the dust from whence they were taken. What little reason have we to be proud of our bodies, or bodily accomplishments! But as none can fully comprehend, so few consider properly, the difference between the rational soul of man, and the spirit or life of the beast. The spirit of man goes upward, to be judged, and is then fixed in an unchangeable state of happiness or misery. It is as certain that the spirit of the beast goes downward to the earth; it perishes at death. Surely their case is lamentable, the height of whose hopes and wishes is, that they may die like beasts. Let our inquiry be, how an eternity of existence may be to us an eternity of enjoyment? To answer this, is the grand design of revelation. Jesus is revealed as the Son of God, and the Hope of sinners.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked. In view of the injustice that prevails in earthly tribunals, Koheleth takes comfort in the thought that there is retribution in store for every man. when God shall award sentence according to deserts. God is a righteous Judge strong and patient, and his decisions are infallible. Future judgment is here plainly stated, as it is at the final conclusion (Ecclesiastes 11:14). They who refuse to credit the writer with belief in this great doctrine resort to the theory of interpolation and alteration in order to account for the language in this and analogous passages. There can be no doubt that the present text has hitherto always been regarded as genuine, and that it does clearly assert future retribution, though not so much as a conclusion firmly established, but rather as a belief which may explain anomalies and afford comfort under trying circumstances. For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. The adverb rendered "there" (שָׁם, sham) is placed emphatically, at the end of the sentence. Thus the Septuagint, "There is a reason for every action, and for every work there (ἐκεῖ)." Many take it to mean" in the other world," and Plumptre cites Eurip., 'Med.,' 1073 -

Ἐνδαιμονοῖτον ἀλλ ἐκεῖ τὰ δ ἐνθάδε
Πατὴρ ἀφείλετ

"All good be with you! but it must be there;
Here it is stolen from you by your sire."
But it is unexampled to find the elliptical "there," when no place has been mentioned in the context, and when we are precluded from interpreting the dark word by a significant gesture, as Medea may have pointed downwards in her histrionic despair. Where the words, "that day," are used in the New Testament (e.g. Luke 10:12; 2 Timothy 1:18, etc.), the context shows plainly to what they refer. Some take the adverb here in the sense of "then." Thus the Vulgate, Justum et impium iudicabit Deus, et tempus omnis rei tunc erit." But really no time has been mentioned, unless we conceive the writer to have been guilty of a clumsy tautology, expressing by "then" the same idea as "a time for every purpose," etc. Ewald would understand it of the past; but this is quite arbitrary, and limits the signification of the sentence unnecessarily. It is best, with many modern commentators, to refer the adverb to God, who has just been spoken of in the preceding clause. A similar use is found in Genesis 49:24. With God, spud Deum, in his counsels, there is a time or judgment and retribution for every act of man, when anomalies which have obtained on earth shall be rectified, injustice shall be punished, virtue rewarded. There is no need, with some commentators, to read up, "he appointed;" the usual reading gives a satisfactory sense.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked,.... This he considered in his mind, and set it down for a certain truth, and which relieved him under the consideration of the sad perversion of justice; and made him easy under it, and willing to leave things to him that judgeth righteously, and wait his time when everything that was now wrong would be set right: he knew from reason, from tradition, and from the word of God, that there was a judgment to come, a general, righteous, and eternal one; that this judicial process would be carried on by God himself, who is holy, righteous, just, and true, omniscient, and omnipotent; and, being the Judge of all the earth, would do right; when he would vindicate the righteous, and clear them from all calumnies and charges; acquit and justify them, and condemn the wicked, pass a just sentence on them, and execute it;

for there is a time there for every purpose, and for every work; or "then", as Noldius; in the day of the great judgment, as the Targum adds; and which continues to paraphrase the words thus,

"for a time is appointed for every business, and for every work which they do in this world they shall be judged there;''

there is a time fixed, a day appointed, for the judgment of the world; though of that day and hour knows no man; yet, it is settled, and will certainly come, Acts 17:31; and when it is come, every purpose, counsel, and thought of men's hearts, will be made manifest, as well as every work, good or bad, open or secret, yea, every idle word, and men will be judged according to these; see 1 Corinthians 4:5, Matthew 12:36.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. Solution of it. There is a coming judgment in which God will vindicate His righteous ways. The sinner's "time" of his unrighteous "work" is short. God also has His "time" and "work" of judgment; and, meanwhile, is overruling, for good at last, what seems now dark. Man cannot now "find out" the plan of God's ways (Ec 3:11; Ps 97:2). If judgment instantly followed every sin, there would be no scope for free will, faith, and perseverance of saints in spite of difficulties. The previous darkness will make the light at last the more glorious.

there—(Job 3:17-19) in eternity, in the presence of the Divine Judge, opposed to the "there," in the human place of judgment (Ec 3:16): so "from thence" (Ge 49:24).

Ecclesiastes 3:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
From Dust to Dust
16Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. 17I said to myself, "God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man," for a time for every matter and for every deed is there. 18I said to myself concerning the sons of men, "God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts."…
Cross References
Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Romans 2:6
God "will repay each person according to what they have done."

2 Thessalonians 1:6
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you

Genesis 18:25
Far be it from you to do such a thing--to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

Psalm 96:13
Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 98:9
let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Ecclesiastes 8:6
For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery.

Ecclesiastes 11:9
You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

Ecclesiastes 12:14
For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Treasury of Scripture

I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

said

Ecclesiastes 1:16 I communed with my own heart, saying, See, I am come to great estate…

Ecclesiastes 2:1 I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore …

God

Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, …

Genesis 18:25 That be far from you to do after this manner, to slay the righteous …

Psalm 98:9 Before the LORD; for he comes to judge the earth: with righteousness …

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his …

Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels …

John 5:22,26-29 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son…

Acts 17:31 Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world …

Romans 2:5-9 But after your hardness and impenitent heart treasure up to yourself …

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who …

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every …

2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation …

Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose …

for

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Jeremiah 29:10,11 For thus said the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished …

Daniel 11:40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: …

Daniel 12:4,9,11-13 But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to …

Acts 1:7 And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, …

1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that …

2 Peter 3:7,8 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are …

Revelation 11:2,3,18 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure …

Revelation 17:12-17 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received …

Revelation 20:7-9 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out …

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