Ecclesiastes 8:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.

New Living Translation
Those who obey him will not be punished. Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right,

English Standard Version
Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.

New American Standard Bible
He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure.

King James Bible
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The one who keeps a command will not experience anything harmful, and a wise heart knows the right time and procedure.

International Standard Version
Whoever obeys his commands will not experience harm, and the wise in heart will discern both the appropriate time and response.

NET Bible
Whoever obeys his command will not experience harm, and a wise person knows the proper time and procedure.

New Heart English Bible
Whoever keeps the commandment shall not come to harm, and his wise heart will know the time and procedure.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Whoever obeys his commands will avoid trouble. The mind of a wise person will know the right time and the right way [to act].

JPS Tanakh 1917
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing; And a wise man's heart discerneth time and judgment.

New American Standard 1977
He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Whosoever keeps the commandment shall experience no evil thing, and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.

King James 2000 Bible
Whosoever keeps the commandment shall experience no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.

American King James Version
Whoever keeps the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.

American Standard Version
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing; and a wise man's heart discerneth time and judgment:

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that keepeth the commandments shall find no evil. The heart of a wise man understandeth time and answer.

Darby Bible Translation
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing; and a wise man's heart knoweth time and manner.

English Revised Version
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing; and a wise man's heart discerneth time and judgment:

Webster's Bible Translation
He who keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

World English Bible
Whoever keeps the commandment shall not come to harm, and his wise heart will know the time and procedure.

Young's Literal Translation
Whoso is keeping a command knoweth no evil thing, and time and judgment the heart of the wise knoweth.
Study Bible
Obey the King
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. 6For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man's trouble is heavy upon him.…
Cross References
Proverbs 12:21
No harm befalls the righteous, But the wicked are filled with trouble.

Ecclesiastes 12:13
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.
Treasury of Scripture

Whoever keeps the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.

keepeth

Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter …

Exodus 1:17,20,21 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded …

Psalm 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect to all your commandments.

Hosea 5:11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly …

Luke 20:25 And he said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things which …

Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, Whether it be right …

Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to …

Romans 13:5-7 Why you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience …

1 Peter 3:13,14 And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good…

feel

Ecclesiastes 2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness: …

Ecclesiastes 10:2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

1 Chronicles 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding …

Proverbs 17:24 Wisdom is before him that has understanding; but the eyes of a fool …

Luke 12:56,57 You hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; …

1 Corinthians 2:14,15 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: …

Philippians 1:9,10 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge …

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease …

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age…

Verse 5. - Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing. This is an encouragement to obedience to royal authority (comp. Proverbs 24:21, 22; Romans 13:3). The context plainly shows that it is not God's commandment that is spoken of (though, of course, the maxim would be very true in this case), but the king's. Nor is it necessarily a servile and unreasoning obedience that is enjoined. Koheleth is dealing with generals. Such cases as that of Daniel and the three children, where obedience would have been sinful, are not here taken into consideration. "Shall feel," literally, "shall know," i.e. experience no physical evil. Quiet submission to the powers that be guarantees a peaceful and happy life. Ginsburg and others translate, "knoweth not an evil word," i.e. is saved from abuse and reproach, which seems somewhat meager, though the Septuagint gives, Οὐ γνώσεται ῤῆμα πονηρόν. The Vulgate is better, Non experietur quidquam malt. And a wise man's heart discerneth (knoweth) both time and judgment. The verb is the same in both clauses, and ought to have been so translated. The "heart" includes the moral as well as the intellectual faculties; and the maxim says that the wise man bears oppression and remains unexcited even in evil days, because he is convinced that there is a time of judgment coming when all will be righted (Ecclesiastes 12:14). The certainty of retributive justice is so strong in his mind that he does not resort to rebellion in order to rectify matters, but possesses his soul in patience, leaving the correction of abuses in God's hands. Septuagint, "The wise man's heart knoweth the time of judgment," making a hendiadys of the two terms. The Vulgate has tempus et responsionem, "time and answer." Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing,.... Either the commandment of an earthly king, which should be kept, when agreeably to the laws of the nation, and not inconsistent with the commands of God; and such as do observe it "know no evil" (a), as it may be rendered, or no sorrow; they live peaceably and quietly, and enjoy the favour and protection of the government under which they are, and have praise of men; see Romans 13:3; or the commandments of the heavenly King, the singular being put for the plural; so the Targum,

"whoso keepeth the commandments of the Lord shall know no evil in the world to come.''

Nor in this world neither; no evil befalls them; what may be thought to be so is for their good; though they know and are conscious of the evil of sin, and commit it, yet not willingly, and with love to it, and so as to make it the work of their lives; but lament it, repent of it, and forsake it, and do not feel the evil of punishment for it; yea, such enjoy much good; have much communion with God; large discoveries of his love; dwell in him, and shall at last dwell with him in the heavenly city; see John 14:21;

and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment; he knows not only what is his duty to do, both with respect to God and men, to a temporal prince or the King eternal; but he knows also the most fit and convenient time of doing it; and lays hold on every opportunity that offers, and which may be called "redeeming time", Galatians 6:10; and he knows the right manner in which it should be performed, with all the agreeable circumstances of it, which he carefully observes; or he knows the judgment that will be passed, or the punishment that will be inflicted on delinquents, either by God or men; and therefore is careful to keep the commandment, and avoid it: and especially he remembers there is a judgment to come, when everything will be brought to an account; and, though he does not know the precise day and hour, yet he knows there will be such a time; so some render it, "the time of judgment" (b): the Targum is,

"and the time of prayer, and of judgment, and of truth, is known by the heart of the wise.''

(a) "non cognoscet", Vatablus, Mercerus, Gejerus, Rambachius, Cocceius. (b) , Sept. so some in Drusius. 5. feel—experience.

time—the neglect of the right "times" causes much of the sinful folly of the spiritually unwise (Ec 3:1-11).

judgment—the right manner [Holden]. But as God's future "judgment" is connected with the "time for every purpose" in Ec 3:17, so it is here. The punishment of persisting sinners (Ec 8:3) suggests it. The wise man realizes the fact, that as there is a fit "time" for every purpose, so for the "judgment." This thought cheers him in adversity (Ec 7:14; 8:1).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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