Ecclesiastes 8:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Since a king's word is supreme, who can say to him, "What are you doing?"

New Living Translation
His command is backed by great power. No one can resist or question it.

English Standard Version
For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, “What are you doing?”

New American Standard Bible
Since the word of the king is authoritative, who will say to him, "What are you doing?"

King James Bible
Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the king's word is authoritative, and who can say to him, "What are you doing?"

International Standard Version
Since a king's command is powerful, who is able to challenge him, asking, "What are you doing?"

NET Bible
Surely the king's authority is absolute; no one can say to him, "What are you doing?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Since a king's word has such power, no one can ask him what he is doing.

Jubilee Bible 2000
because the word of the king is his power and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

King James 2000 Bible
Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What are you doing?

American King James Version
Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say to him, What do you?

American Standard Version
For the king's word hath power; and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And his word is full of power: neither can any man say to him: Why dost thou so?

Darby Bible Translation
because the word of a king is power; and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

English Revised Version
Because the king's word hath power; and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

Webster's Bible Translation
Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say to him, what doest thou?

World English Bible
for the king's word is supreme. Who can say to him, "What are you doing?"

Young's Literal Translation
Where the word of a king is power is, and who saith to him, 'What dost thou?'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - Where the word of a king is, there is power. A further confirmation of the last thought. More accurately, "Inasmuch as the word of a king is powerful" (shilton, ver. 8). This last word is used in Daniel (Daniel 3:2) for "a lord," or "ruler." The king does as he thinks fit because his mandate is all-powerful, and must be obeyed, And who may say unto him, What doest thou? The same expression is found applied to God (Job 9:12; Isaiah 45:9; Wisd. 12:12). The absolute authority of a despot is spoken of in the same terms as the irresistible power of Almighty God. Αἰκὼν δὲ βασιλεύς ἐστιν ἔμψυχος Θεοῦ. "God's living image is an earthly king."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Where the word of a king is, there is power,.... Or "dominion" (z). Authority goes along with his word of command; and there is an inferior magistracy, a subordinate power under him, ready to execute his will upon the rebellious and disobedient. Jarchi interprets it, the word of the holy blessed God; and the Targum, the word of that King who rules over all the world; where his word of doctrine comes, not in word only, it is with power: his written word is quick and powerful; the word of his Gospel preached is the power of God to salvation; or is accompanied with power to enlighten dark minds, quicken dead sinners, unstop deaf ears, soften hard hearts, and deliver men from the slavery of sin and Satan; it makes men, of enemies, friends to God, Christ, and good men; transforms them by the renewing of their minds, and comforts and establishes saints; all which is attributed to the word; and are the effects of almighty power, Hebrews 4:12; his word of command also comes with power, being clothed with his authority; and is submitted to by his people in the day of his power upon them, who readily and cheerfully obey it;

and who may say unto him, what dost thou? call him to an account for, or complain of any of his works of creation, providence, or grace? This best agrees with God than with an earthly king; and is said of him elsewhere, Job 9:12.

(z) "imperium", Montanus, Rambachius; "dominatio", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. God's very "word" is "power." So the gospel word (Ro 1:16; Heb 4:12).

who may say, &c.—(Job 9:12; 33:13; Isa 45:9; Da 4:35). Scripture does not ascribe such arbitrary power to earthly kings.

Ecclesiastes 8:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Obey the King
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?" 5He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure.…
Cross References
Job 9:12
If he snatches away, who can stop him? Who can say to him, 'What are you doing?'

Daniel 4:35
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"
Treasury of Scripture

Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say to him, What do you?

the word

1 Kings 2:25,29-34,46 And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; …

Proverbs 19:12 The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favor is as …

Proverbs 20:2 The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoever provokes …

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

Daniel 3:15 Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, …

Luke 12:4,5 And I say to you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the …

Romans 13:1-4 Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power …

what

Job 33:12,13 Behold, in this you are not just: I will answer you, that God is …

Job 34:18,19 Is it fit to say to a king, You are wicked? and to princes, You are ungodly…

Romans 9:20 No but, O man, who are you that reply against God? Shall the thing …

Jump to Previous
Authoritative Authority Forasmuch King's Power Supreme Word
Jump to Next
Authoritative Authority Forasmuch King's Power Supreme Word
Links
Ecclesiastes 8:4 NIV
Ecclesiastes 8:4 NLT
Ecclesiastes 8:4 ESV
Ecclesiastes 8:4 NASB
Ecclesiastes 8:4 KJV

Ecclesiastes 8:4 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 8:4 Bible Suite
Ecclesiastes 8:4 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 8:4 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 8:4 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 8:4 German Bible

Alphabetical: a are authoritative can doing him is king king's of say Since supreme the to What who will word you

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 8:4 For the king's word is supreme (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Ecclesiastes 8:3
Top of Page
Top of Page