Ecclesiastes 8:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then too, I saw the wicked buried--those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

New Living Translation
I have seen wicked people buried with honor. Yet they were the very ones who frequented the Temple and are now praised in the same city where they committed their crimes! This, too, is meaningless.

English Standard Version
Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity.

New American Standard Bible
So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility.

King James Bible
And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In such circumstances, I saw the wicked buried. They came and went from the holy place, and they were praised in the city where they did so. This too is futile.

International Standard Version
So I watched the wicked being entombed. They used to come in and out of the Holy Place, but now they are forgotten in the city, where they used to work. This, too, is pointless.

NET Bible
Not only that, but I have seen the wicked approaching and entering the temple, and as they left the holy temple, they boasted in the city that they had done so. This also is an enigma.

New Heart English Bible
So I saw the wicked buried. Indeed they came also from holy place. They went and were praised in the city where they did this. This also is vanity.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then I saw wicked people given an [honorable] burial. They used to go in and out of the holy place. They were praised in the city for doing such things. Even this is pointless.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And so I saw the wicked buried, and they entered into their rest; but they that had done right went away from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city; this also is vanity.

New American Standard 1977
So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then I also saw that the wicked who were buried came into remembrance more than those who had frequented the holy place, and these were forgotten in the city where they had worked uprightly. This also is vanity.

King James 2000 Bible
And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the holy place, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

American King James Version
And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

American Standard Version
So I saw the wicked buried, and they came to the grave ; and they that had done right went away from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city: this also is vanity.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I saw the wicked buried: who also when they were yet living were in the holy place, and were praised in the city as men of just works: but this also is vanity.

Darby Bible Translation
And I have also seen the wicked buried and going away; and such as had acted rightly went from [the] holy place, and were forgotten in the city. This also is vanity.

English Revised Version
And withal I saw the wicked buried, and they came to the grave; and they that had done right went away from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city: this also is vanity.

Webster's Bible Translation
And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

World English Bible
So I saw the wicked buried. Indeed they came also from holiness. They went and were forgotten in the city where they did this. This also is vanity.

Young's Literal Translation
And so I have seen the wicked buried, and they went in, even from the Holy Place they go, and they are forgotten in the city whether they had so done. This also is vanity.
Study Bible
Fear God
9All this I have seen and applied my mind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt. 10So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility. 11Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.…
Cross References
Proverbs 10:7
The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.

Ecclesiastes 1:11
There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will come later still.

Ecclesiastes 2:16
For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!

Ecclesiastes 9:5
For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.

Ecclesiastes 9:15
But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man.
Treasury of Scripture

And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

so

2 Kings 9:34,35 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see …

Job 21:18,32,33 They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carries away…

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the …

the place

Psalm 122:1-5 I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the LORD…

Acts 6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceases not to speak …

they were

Ecclesiastes 2:16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever…

Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any …

Psalm 31:12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

Jeremiah 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake you shall be ashamed, …

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul …

(10) They had so done.--An ambiguity in translation of this verse arises from the fact that the word translated "so" is rendered "well" (2Kings 7:9 and elsewhere). Consequently some understand the verse, "The wicked receive an honourable burial, while those who have acted well are driven away from the holy place (viz. Jerusalem, Isaiah 48:2; Neh. xi, 1, 18) and forgotten." But we prefer to translate the word "so" the second time, as well as the first, where it occurs in the verse; and to take the meaning to be that the oppressor's prosperity is but temporary, for soon comes death, burial, and forgetfulness of his honour.

Verses 10-15. - Section 6. Koheleth is troubled by apparent anomalies in God's moral government. He notes the prosperity of the godless and the misery of the righteous, God's abstention and the seeming impunity of sinners make men incredulous of Providence; but God is just in reward and punishment, as the end will prove. Meantime, returning to his old maxim, he advises men patiently to acquiesce in things as they are, and to make the best of life. Verse 10. - And so (וּבְכֵן); then, in like manner, under the same circumstances (Esther 4:16). The writer notes some apparent exceptions to the law of retribution of which he has just been speaking, the double particle at the beginning of the verse implying the connection with the preceding statement. I saw the wicked buried. "The wicked" are especially the despots (ver. 9). These are carried to their graves with every outward honor and respect, like the rich man in the parable, who "died, and was buried" (Luke 16:22). Such men, if they had received their due reward, far from having a pompous and magnificent funeral (which would befit only a good and honored life), would have been buried with the burial of an ass (comp. Isaiah 14:19; Jeremiah 22:19). So far the Authorized Version is undeniably correct. What follows is as certainly inaccurate as it is unintelligible. Who had come and gone from the place of the holy; literally, and they came, and from the place of the holy they went. The first verb seems to mean, "they came to their rest," they died a natural death. The words, in themselves ambiguous, are explained by the connection in which they stand (comp. Isaiah 57:2). Wright renders, "they came into being," and explains it with the following clause, "they went away from the holy place," as one generation coming and another going, in constant succession. But if, as we suppose, the paragraph applies to the despot, such an interpretation is unsuitable. Cox's idea, that oppressive despots "come again" in the persons of their wicked children, is wholly unsupported by the text. The verse admits and has received a dozen explanations differing more or less from one another. A good deal depends upon the manner in which the succeeding clause is translated, And they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. As the particle rendered "so" (ken) may also mean "well," "rightly," we get the rendering, "even such as acted justly," and thus introduce a contrast between the fate of the wicked man who is honored with a sumptuous funeral, and that of the righteous whose name is cast out as pollution and soon forgotten. So Cheyne ('Job and Solomon') gives, "And in accordance with this I have seen ungodly men honored, and that too in the holy place (the temple, Isaiah 18:7), but those who had acted rightly had to depart, and were forgotten in the city." Against this interpretation, which has been adopted by many, it may reasonably be urged that in the same verse ken would hardly be used in two different senses, and that there is nothing in the text to indicate a change of subject. It seems to me that the whole verse applies to the wicked man. He dies in peace, he leaves the holy place; the evil that he has done is forgotten in the very city where he had so done, i.e. done wickedly. "The place of the holy" is Jerusalem (Isaiah 48:2; Matthew 27:53) or the temple (Matthew 24:15). He is removed by death from that spot, the very name of which ought to have cried shame on his crimes and impiety. The expression seems to picture a great procession of priests and Levites accompanying the corpse of the deceased tyrant to the place of burial, while the final clause implies that no long lamentation was made over him, no monument erected to his memory (see the opposite of this in the treatment of Josiah, 2 Chronicles 35:24, 25). They who consider "the righteous " to be the subject of the last clauses see in the words, "from the holy place they departed," an intimation that these were excommunicated from the synagogue or temple, or banished from the promised land, on account of their opinions. I would translate the passage thus: In like manner have I seen the wicked buried, and they came to their rest, and they went from the holy place, and were forgotten in the city where they had so (wickedly) acted. The versions have followed various readings. Thus the Septuagint: "And then I saw the impious brought unto graves, and from the holy place; and they departed and were praised in the city, because they had so done;" Vulgate, "I have seen the impious buried, who also, while they still lived, were in the holy place, and were praised in the city as if men of just doings." Commenting oh this version, St. Gregory writes, "The very tranquility of the peace of the Church conceals many under the Christian name who are beset with the plague of their own wickedness. But if a light breath of persecution strikes them, it sweeps them away at once as chaff from the threshing-floor. But some persons wish to bear the mark of Christian calling, because, since the name of Christ has been exalted on high, nearly all persons now look to appear faithful, and from seeing others called thus, they are ashamed not to seem faithful themselves; but they neglect to be that which they beast of being called. For they assume the reality of inward excellence, to adorn their outward appearance; and they who stand before the heavenly Judge, naked from the unbelief of their heart, are clothed, in the sight of men, with a holy profession, at least in words" ('Moral.,' 25:26). This is also vanity. The old refrain recurs to the writer as he thinks on the prosperity of the wicked, and the conclusions which infidels draw therefrom. Here is another example of the vanity that prevails in all earthly circumstances. And so I saw the wicked buried,.... Or "truly" (k), verily, as the Targum, this is matter of fact; or "then I saw", as Aben Ezra and others, upon applying his heart to every work; or when be observed particularly wicked magistrates, he took notice that some of them continued in their power until death, and died in their beds, and were carried to their graves in great pomp and state, and interred in a very magnificent manner, when they deserved no burial at all, but, as King Jeconiah, to be buried with the burial of an ass;

who had come and gone from the place of the holy; which most understand of the same persons, of wicked magistrates buried, who kept their posts of honour and places of power and authority as long as they lived; and went to and came from the courts of judicature and tribunals of justice, in great state and splendour; where they presided as God's vicegerents, and therefore called the place of the holy, Psalm 82:1; or though they were sometimes deposed, yet they were restored again to their former dignity; or though they died and were buried, yet in a sense rose again in their children that succeeded them, so Aben Ezra: but it seems better to understated it of other persons, and render the, words thus, "and they came, and from the place of the holy", or "the holy place they walked" (l); that is, multitudes came to attend the funeral of such rich and mighty men, and walked after or followed the corpse; and ever, the priests and Levites from the temple made a part of the funeral procession, and walked in great solemnity from thence to the place of interment, which was usually without the city;

and they were forgotten in the city where they had done; all their evil deeds were forgotten, their acts of oppression and injustice, as if they had never been done by them. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions are, "and they were praised in the city"; panegyrics upon them were written and rehearsed, monuments were erected to their honour, with large encomiums of them; and so it may be read by the change of a letter; and Jarchi says, do not read "forgotten", but "praised"; and so he says it is interpreted by their Rabbins. The whole may be considered in a very different view thus "but then I saw", &c. such arbitrary rulers die, and laid in the grave, one after another, and their names have been buried in oblivion, and never remembered more in the city where they have exercised so much power and authority. The latter part of the text is by many understood of good men, and rendered thus, "and" or "but on the contrary they were forgotten in the city where they had done right" (m); their persons and their good deeds were remembered no more; but this seems contrary to Psalm 112:6. The Targum paraphrases the whole thus;

"and in truth I have seen sinners that are buried and destroyed out of the world, from the holy place where the righteous dwell, who go to be burned in hell; and they are forgotten among the inhabitants of the city; and as they have done, it is done to them;''

this is also vanity; the pompous funeral of such wicked magistrates.

(k) "et vere", Vatablus. (l) "et venerunt, immo ex ipso etiam loco sancti itabant", Rambaschius. (m) So Piscator, Mercerus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Rambachius. 10. the wicked—namely, rulers (Ec 8:9).

buried—with funeral pomp by man, though little meriting it (Jer 22:19); but this only formed the more awful contrast to their death, temporal and eternal, inflicted by God (Lu 16:22, 23).

come and gone from the place of the holy—went to and came from the place of judicature, where they sat as God's representatives (Ps 82:1-6), with pomp [Holden]. Weiss translates, "Buried and gone (utterly), even from the holy place they departed." As Joab, by Solomon's command, was sent to the grave from the "holy place" in the temple, which was not a sanctuary to murderers (Ex 21:14; 1Ki 2:28, 31). The use of the very word "bury" there makes this view likely; still "who had come and gone" may be retained. Joab came to the altar, but had to go from it; so the "wicked rulers" (Ec 8:9) (including high priests) came to, and went from, the temple, on occasions of solemn worship, but did not thereby escape their doom.

forgotten—(Pr 10:7).8:9-13 Solomon observed, that many a time one man rules over another to his hurt, and that prosperity hardens them in their wickedness. Sinners herein deceive themselves. Vengeance comes slowly, but it comes surely. A good man's days have some substance; he lives to a good purpose: a wicked man's days are all as a shadow, empty and worthless. Let us pray that we may view eternal things as near, real, and all-important.
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