Ecclesiastes 8:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Do not be in a hurry to leave the king's presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases.

New Living Translation
Don't try to avoid doing your duty, and don't stand with those who plot evil, for the king can do whatever he wants.

English Standard Version
Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases.

New American Standard Bible
"Do not be in a hurry to leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases."

King James Bible
Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Do not be in a hurry; leave his presence, and don't persist in a bad cause, since he will do whatever he wants.

International Standard Version
Don't be in a hurry to leave him, and don't persist in evil, for he does whatever he pleases.

NET Bible
Do not rush out of the king's presence in haste--do not delay when the matter is unpleasant, for he can do whatever he pleases.

New Heart English Bible
Do not be hasty to go out of his presence. Do not persist in an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't be in a hurry to leave the king's service. Don't take part in something evil, because he can do whatever he pleases.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Be not hasty to go out of his presence; stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.

New American Standard 1977
“Do not be in a hurry to leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Do not be hasty to rebel against him; do not persist in any evil thing, for he shall do whatsoever pleases him;

King James 2000 Bible
Be not hasty to go out of his presence: stand not for an evil thing; for he does whatsoever pleases him.

American King James Version
Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he does whatever pleases him.

American Standard Version
Be not hasty to go out of his presence; persist not in an evil thing: for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be not hasty to depart from his face, and do not continue in an evil work: for he will do all that pleaseth him:

Darby Bible Translation
Be not hasty to go out of his sight; persist not in an evil thing: for he doeth whatever pleaseth him,

English Revised Version
Be not hasty to go out of his presence; persist not in an evil thing: for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.

Webster's Bible Translation
Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatever pleaseth him.

World English Bible
Don't be hasty to go out of his presence. Don't persist in an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him,

Young's Literal Translation
Be not troubled at his presence, thou mayest go, stand not in an evil thing, for all that he pleaseth he doth.
Study Bible
Obey the King
2I say, "Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God. 3"Do not be in a hurry to leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases." 4Since the word of the king is authoritative, who will say to him, "What are you doing?"…
Cross References
Genesis 47:9
So Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning."

Ecclesiastes 10:4
If the ruler's temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.
Treasury of Scripture

Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he does whatever pleases him.

not hasty

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against you, leave not your place; …

Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is …

stand

1 Kings 1:50-52 And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and …

1 Kings 2:21-24 And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your …

Isaiah 48:4 Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, …

Jeremiah 44:16,17 As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, …

Acts 5:8,9 And Peter answered to her, Tell me whether you sold the land for …

for

Proverbs 16:14,15 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it…

Proverbs 30:31 A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and …

Daniel 5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, …

(3) I believe the rendering of our version to be correct, though some have taken it, "Be not hasty: go out of his eight." The best commentary on this verse is Ecclesiastes 10:4, which gives the meaning, "When censured by the king, do not abandon the hope of retaining his favour, nor obstinately persist in what he condemns." I do not find adequate proof of the assertion of some commentators, that "go out of his sight" can mean "withdraw allegiance from him," and so that the "evil thing" means a rebellious conspiracy. The advice, "Be not hasty" to rebel, instead of "do not rebel," is inconsistent with the context.

Verse 3. - Further advice concerning political behavior. Be not hasty to go out of his (the king's) sight. Do not, from some hasty impulse, or induced by harsh treatment, cast off your allegiance to your liege lord. We have the phrase, "go away," in the sense of quitting of service or desertion of a duty, in Genesis 4:16; Hosea 11:2. So St. Peter urges servants to be subject unto their masters, "not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward" (1 Peter 2:18). Solomon might have given this advice to the Israelites who were ready to follow Jeroboam's lead; though they could have remained loyal to Rehoboam only from high religious motives. But it is better to bear even a heavy yoke than to rebel. The Septuagint has, "Be not hasty; thou shalt go from his presence" - which seems to mean, "Be not impatient, and all will be well." But the authorized rendering is correct (comp. Ecclesiastes 10:4). We may quote Mendelssohn's comment cited by Chance on Job 34:16, "This is a great rule in politics, that the people must have no power to pronounce judgment upon the conduct of a king, whether it be good or bad; for the king judges the people, and not the reverse; and if it were not for this rule, the country would never be quiet, and without rebels against the king and his law." Stand not in an evil thing; Vulgate, Neque permaneas in opere malo, "Persist not in an evil affair." But the verb here implies rather the engaging in a matter than continuing an undertaking already begun. The "affair" is conspiracy, insurrection; and Koheleth warns against entering upon and taking part in any such attempt. This seems to be the correct explanation of the clause; but it is, perhaps intentionally, ambiguous, and is capable of other interpretations. Thus Ginsburg, "Do not stand up (in a passion) because of an evil word." Others, "Obey not a sinful command," or "Hesitate not at an evil thing," i.e. if the king orders it. Wordsworth, referring to Psalm 1:1. renders, "Stand not in the way of sinners," which seems to be unsuitable to the context. The Septuagint gives, "Stand not in an evil word" (λόγῳ, perhaps "matter"). The reason for the injunction follows. For he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. The irresponsible power of a despotic monarch is here signified, though the terms are applicable (as some, indeed, take them as alone appertaining) to God himself (but see Proverbs 20:2). The Septuagint combines with this clause the commencement of the following verse, "For he will do whatsover he pleases, even as a king using authority (ἐξουσιάζων)." Some manuscripts add λαλεῖ, "he speaks." Be not hasty to go out of his sight,.... But of the sight of the King of kings. Do not think to hide thyself from him, for there is no fleeing from his presence, Psalm 139:7; it is best, when under some consternation, as the word (y) signifies, or under some fearful apprehension of his wrath and indignation, to fall down before him, acknowledge the offence, and pray for pardon: and to this purpose is the Targum,

"and in the time of the indignation of the Lord, do not cease to pray before him; being terrified (or troubled) before him, go and pray, and seek mercy of him;''

and with which agrees the note of Jarchi,

"be not troubled, saying that thou wilt go and free from his presence, to a place where he does not rule, for he rules in every place.''

Such who interpret this of an earthly king suppose this forbids a man going out from the presence of a king in a pet and passion, withdrawing himself from his court and service in a heat, at once;

stand not in an evil thing; having done it, continue not in it; but repent of it, acknowledge and forsake it, whether against God or an earthly king;

for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him; which best agrees with the King of kings, who does what he pleases, in heaven above and in earth below, both in nature, providence, and grace; see Job 23:13; though earthly kings indeed have long hands, as is usually said, and can reach a great way, and do great things, especially despotic and arbitrary princes, and it is very difficult escaping their hands. The Targum is,

"for the Lord of all worlds, the Lord will do what he pleases.''

(y) "ne consterneris", Gejerus, and some in Rambachius. 3. hasty—rather, "Be not terror-struck so as to go out of His sight." Slavishly "terror-struck" is characteristic of the sinner's feeling toward God; he vainly tries to flee out of His sight (Ps 139:7); opposed to the "shining face" of filial confidence (Ec 8:1; Joh 8:33-36; Ro 8:2; 1Jo 4:18).

stand not—persist not.

for he doeth—God inflicts what punishment He pleases on persisting sinners (Job 23:13; Ps 115:3). True of none save God.8:1-5 None of the rich, the powerful, the honourable, or the accomplished of the sons of men, are so excellent, useful, or happy, as the wise man. Who else can interpret the words of God, or teach aright from his truths and dispensations? What madness must it be for weak and dependent creatures to rebel against the Almighty! What numbers form wrong judgments, and bring misery on themselves, in this life and that to come!
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