Ecclesiastes 8:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people's hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.

New Living Translation
When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.

English Standard Version
Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

New American Standard Bible
Because 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.

King James Bible
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Because the sentence against a criminal act is not carried out quickly, the heart of people is filled with the desire to commit crime.

International Standard Version
Whenever a sentence for a crime is not carried out swiftly, the human mind becomes determined to commit evil.

NET Bible
When a sentence is not executed at once against a crime, the human heart is encouraged to do evil.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When a sentence against a crime isn't carried out quickly, people are encouraged to commit crimes.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

King James 2000 Bible
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

American King James Version
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

American Standard Version
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For because sentence is not speedily pronounced against the evil, the children of men commit evils without any fear.

Darby Bible Translation
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the children of men is fully set in them to do evil.

English Revised Version
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Webster's Bible Translation
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

World English Bible
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Young's Literal Translation
Because sentence hath not been done on an evil work speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of man is full within them to do evil.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 11. - The verse states one of the results of God's forbearance in punishing the evil. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily. The verse begins with asher," because," as in Ecclesiastes 4:3; Ecclesiastes 6:12, which connects the sentence with the allegation of vanity just preceding, as well as with what follows. Pithgam, "sentence," "edict," is a foreign word of Persian origin, found in Esther 1:20 and in Chaldee portions of Ezra (Ezra 4:17) and Daniel (Daniel 4:14, etc.). God seems to us to delay in punishing the guilty because we behold only one little portion of the course of his providence; could we take a more comprehensive view, anomalies would disappear, and we should see the end of these men (Psalm 73:17). But a contracted, skeptical view leads to two evils - first, a weakening of faith in God's moral government; and second, a miserable fatalism which denies man's responsibility and saps his energy. Of the former of these results Koheleth here treats. Therefore the heart of the sons of men. The heart is named as the seat of thought and the prime mover of action (comp. Ecclesiastes 9:3; Esther 7:5; Matthew 15:18, 19). Is fully set in them to do evil; literally, is full in them; i.e. their heart becomes filled with thoughts which are directed to evil, or full of courage, hence "emboldened" (Revised Version margin) to do evil. Vulgate, absque timore ullo filii hominum perpetrant mala; Septuagint, "Because there is no contradiction (ἀντίῥῤησις) made on the part of (ἀπὸ) those who do evil speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully persuaded (ἐπληροφορήθη) in them to do evil." The long-suffering of God, instead of leading such men to repentance, hardens them in their infidelity (Psalm 73:11). Primarily, the reference is still to tyrannical despots, who, in their seeming impunity, are em-boldened to pursue their evil course. But the statement is true generally. As Cicero says, "Quis ignorat maximam illecebram esse peccandi impunitatis spem?" ('Pro Milone,' 16.).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily,.... Any evil work done by magistrates, or others, against which the wrath of God is revealed from heaven, and is threatened with his vengeance; the decree is gone forth, the sentence is passed, God is determined upon punishment; but there is a delay of it, he exercises patience and longsuffering to answer some end of his, both towards his own people and the wicked; as well as to display some of his own perfections; but because so it is, the judgment comes not at once;

therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil; or their "heart is full to do evil" (n); they have not only a fulness of sin in them naturally as is in every man's heart; but they are filled with resolution, boldness, and courage, to commit sin, promising themselves impurity from the seeming delay of justice; such an abuse do they make of the patience and forbearance of God; they become more and more hardened in sin and bent upon the commission of it.

(n) "plenum ad faciendum malum", Pagninus, Montanus; "praegnano ad faciendum malum", Gussetius, p. 469.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

11. The reason why the wicked persevere in sin: God's delay in judgment (Mt 24:48-51; 2Pe 3:8, 9). "They see not the smoke of the pit, therefore they dread not the fire" [South], (Ps 55:19). Joab's escape from the punishment of his murder of Abner, so far from "leading him to repentance," as it ought (Ro 2:4), led him to the additional murder of Amasa.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 Additional Commentaries
Context
Fear God
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. 12Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly.…
Cross References
Romans 2:4
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Exodus 34:6
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,

2 Samuel 11:15
In it he wrote, "Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."

Psalm 10:6
He says to himself, "Nothing will ever shake me." He swears, "No one will ever do me harm."

Psalm 50:21
When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. But I now arraign you and set my accusations before you.

Psalm 86:15
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Ecclesiastes 9:3
This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.
Treasury of Scripture

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

sentence

Exodus 8:15,32 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, …

Job 21:11-15 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance…

Psalm 10:6 He has said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never …

Psalm 50:21,22 These things have you done, and I kept silence; you thought that …

Isaiah 5:18,19 Woe to them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it …

Isaiah 26:10 Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: …

Jeremiah 48:11 Moab has been at ease from his youth, and he has settled on his lees, …

Matthew 24:49,50 And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink …

Romans 2:4,5 Or despise you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering…

2 Peter 3:3-10 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, …

fully

Jeremiah 42:15 And now therefore hear the word of the LORD, you remnant of Judah; …

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