Ecclesiastes 5:8
New International Version
If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.

New Living Translation
Don't be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy.

English Standard Version
If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them.

Berean Study Bible
If you see the oppression of the poor and the denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be astonished at the matter; for one official is watched by a superior, and higher still are over them.

New American Standard Bible
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them.

King James Bible
If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

Christian Standard Bible
If you see oppression of the poor and perversion of justice and righteousness in the province, don't be astonished at the situation, because one official protects another official, and higher officials protect them.

Contemporary English Version
Don't be surprised if the poor of your country are abused, and injustice takes the place of justice. After all, the lower officials must do what the higher ones order them to do.

Good News Translation
Don't be surprised when you see that the government oppresses the poor and denies them justice and their rights. Every official is protected by someone higher, and both are protected by still higher officials.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If you see oppression of the poor and perversion of justice and righteousness in the province, don't be astonished at the situation, because one official protects another official, and higher officials protect them.

International Standard Version
Don't be surprised when you see the poor oppressed and the violent perverting both justice and verdicts in a province, for one high official watches another, and there are ones higher still over them.

NET Bible
If you see the extortion of the poor, or the perversion of justice and fairness in the government, do not be astonished by the matter. For the high official is watched by a higher official, and there are higher ones over them!

New Heart English Bible
If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in a district, do not marvel at the matter: for one official is eyed by a higher one; and there are officials over them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't be surprised if you see poor people being oppressed, denied justice, or denied their rights in any district. One authority is watching over another, and they both have authorities watching over them.

JPS Tanakh 1917
If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and the violent perverting of justice and righteousness in the state, marvel not at the matter; for one higher than the high watcheth, and there are higher than they.

New American Standard 1977
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight, for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
If thou seest violence unto the poor and the extortion of rights and justice in a province, do not marvel at the matter, for height is looking upon height; and there is one higher than they.

King James 2000 Bible
If you see the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of justice and righteousness in a province, marvel not at the matter: for the high official is watched by a higher one ; and there are yet higher ones over them.

American King James Version
If you see the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regards; and there be higher than they.

American Standard Version
If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in a province, marvel not at the matter: for one higher than the high regardeth; and there are higher than they.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
If thou shouldest see the oppression of the poor, and the wresting of judgment and of justice in the land, wonder not at the matter: for there is a high one to watch over him that is high, and high ones over them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If thou shalt see the oppressions of the poor, and violent judgments, and justice perverted in the province, wonder not at this matter: for he that is high hath another higher, and there are others still higher than these:

Darby Bible Translation
If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter; for a higher than the high is watching, and there are higher than they.

English Revised Version
If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for one higher than the high regardeth; and there be higher than they.

Webster's Bible Translation
If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perversion of judgment and justice in a province, wonder not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there are higher than they.

World English Bible
If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in a district, don't marvel at the matter: for one official is eyed by a higher one; and there are officials over them.

Young's Literal Translation
If oppression of the poor, and violent taking away of judgment and righteousness thou seest in a province, do not marvel at the matter, for a higher than the high is observing, and high ones are over them.
Study Bible
The Futility of Wealth
8If you see the oppression of the poor and the denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be astonished at the matter; for one official is watched by a superior, and higher still are over them. 9The produce of the earth is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.…
Cross References
1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you.

Proverbs 22:16
Oppressing the poor to enrich oneself, or giving gifts to the rich, will surely lead to poverty.

Proverbs 24:12
If you say, "Behold, we did not know about this," will not He who weighs hearts consider it? Does not the One who guards your life know? Will He not repay a man according to his deeds?

Ecclesiastes 3:16
Furthermore, I saw under the sun that in the place of judgment there is wickedness, and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 4:1
Again, I observed all the oppression taking place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, and they had no comforter; the power lay in the hands of their oppressors, and there was no comforter.

Ecclesiastes 5:9
The produce of the earth is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.

Ecclesiastes 7:7
Surely extortion turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

Ecclesiastes 8:9
All this I have seen, applying my mind to every deed that is done under the sun; there is a time when one man lords it over another to his own detriment.

Ezekiel 18:18
As for his father, he will die for his own iniquity, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what was wrong among his people.

Treasury of Scripture

If you see the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regards; and there be higher than they.

thou seest

Ecclesiastes 3:16
And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.

Ecclesiastes 4:1
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

Psalm 12:5
For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

marvel

Zechariah 8:6
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.

1 John 3:13
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

Revelation 17:6,7
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration…

matter

Isaiah 10:5-7,12
O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation…

Isaiah 46:10,11
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: …

Habakkuk 1:12
Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.

for

Isaiah 57:15
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Luke 1:32,35,76
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: …

regardeth

1 Kings 21:19,20
And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine…

Job 20:19-29
Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not; …

Job 27:8-23
For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? …

higher than they







Lexicon
If
אִם־ (’im-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

you see
תִּרְאֶ֣ה (tir·’eh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

the oppression
עֹ֣שֶׁק (‘ō·šeq)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 6233: Injury, fraud, distress, unjust gain

of the poor
רָ֠שׁ (rāš)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7326: To be in want or poor

and the denial
וְגֵ֨זֶל (wə·ḡê·zel)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1499: Violence, violent perverting

of justice
מִשְׁפָּ֤ט (miš·pāṭ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4941: A verdict, a sentence, formal decree, divine law, penalty, justice, privilege, style

and righteousness
וָצֶ֙דֶק֙ (wā·ṣe·ḏeq)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6664: The right, equity, prosperity

in the province,
בַמְּדִינָ֔ה (ḇam·mə·ḏî·nāh)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4082: A judgeship, jurisdiction, a district, a region

do not
אַל־ (’al-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 408: Not

be astonished
תִּתְמַ֖הּ (tiṯ·mah)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8539: To be astounded or dumbfounded

at
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

the matter;
הַחֵ֑פֶץ (ha·ḥê·p̄eṣ)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2656: Pleasure, desire, a valuable thing, a matter

for
כִּ֣י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

one official
גָבֹ֜הַּ (ḡā·ḇō·ah)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1364: Elevated, powerful, arrogant

is watched by
שֹׁמֵ֔ר (šō·mêr)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8104: To hedge about, guard, to protect, attend to

a superior,
גָּבֹ֙הַ֙‪‬‪‬ (gā·ḇō·ah)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1364: Elevated, powerful, arrogant

and higher still
וּגְבֹהִ֖ים (ū·ḡə·ḇō·hîm)
Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1364: Elevated, powerful, arrogant

are over them.
עֲלֵיהֶֽם׃ (‘ă·lê·hem)
Preposition | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against
(8) The interpretation of this verse depends on the sense we give to "marvel." There are some who take it of simple surprise. "You need not think it strange; the instances of oppression which you observe are only parts of a gigantic scheme of mutual wrong-doing, the oppressors of one being themselves oppressed in turn by their superiors." But instead of "Do not wonder," the meaning "be not dismayed" is preferable. (Comp. Psalm 48:5; Job 26:11; Isaiah 13:8; Jeremiah 4:9.) The verse then supplies the answer to the gloomy view of Ecclesiastes 4:4. In the view that the last clause speaks of the Divine rectification of earthly injustice, I am confirmed by observing that the author of this book delights in verbal assonances, and constantly links together words similar in sound. An English version might admit the meaning: "Over the high oppressor stands a higher, and over both, those who are higher still; "though even here there is the difficulty that the highest of all are spoken of in the plural number, of which it is a very awkward explanation that the "higher" is the king, and that the women and favourites who govern him are the "higher still." But I cannot but think that the language of the Hebrew, that over the "geb?h" there be "geb?him," is intended to suggest Elohim to the reader's mind.

On the word "province," see Note, Ecclesiastes 2:8; and on "matter," Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Verses 8-17. - Section 7. Perils to which one is exposed in a despotic state, and the unprofitableness of riches. Verses 8, 9. - In political life there is little that is satisfactory; yet one must not surrender one's belief in a superintending Providence. Verse 8. - If thou seest the oppression of the poor. From errors in the service of God, it is natural to turn to faults in the administration of the king (Proverbs 24:21). Koheleth has already alluded to these anomalies in Ecclesiastes 3:16 and Ecclesiastes 4:1. Violent perverting; literally, robbery; so that judgment is never rightly given, and justice is withheld from applicants. In a province (me dinah, Ecclesiastes 2:8); the district in which the person addressed dwells. It may, perhaps, to implied that {his is remote from the central authority, and therefore more liable to be injuriously dealt with by unscrupulous rulers. Marvel not at the matter (chephets, Ecclesiastes 3:1). Be not surprised or dismayed (Job 26:11) at such evil doings,, as though they were unheard of, or inexperienced, or disregarded. There is here nothing of the Greek maxim, reproduced by Horace in his "Nil admirari" ('Epist.,' 1:6. 1). It is like St. John's "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you" (1 John 3:13); or St. Peter's "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among' you" (1 Peter 4:12). The stupid and unintelligent observation of such disorders might lead to arraignment of Providence and distrust in the moral government of God. Against such mistakes the writer guards. For he that is higher than the highest regardeth. Both the words are in the singular number. Septuagint, Ὑψηλὸς ἐπάνω ὑψηλοῦ φυλάξαι. One thinks of the Persian satraps, who acted much as the Turkish pashas in later times, the petty rulers oppressing the people, and being themselves treated in the same fashion by their superiors. The whole is a system of wrong-doing, where the weaker always suffers, and the only comfort is that the oppressor himself is subject to higher supervision. The verb (shamar) translated "regardeth" means to observe in a hostile sense, to watch for occasions of reprisal, as 1 Samuel 19:11; and the idea intended is that in the province there were endless plottings and counterplottings, mutual denunciations and recriminations; that such things were only to be expected, and were no sufficient cause for infidelity or despair. "The higher one" is the monarch, the despotic king who holds the supreme power over all these malad-ministrators and perverters of justice. And there be higher than they. "Higher" is here plural (gebohgm), the plural of majesty, as it is called (comp. Ecclesiastes 12:1), like Elohim, the word for "God," the assonance being probably here suggestive. Over the highest of earthly rulers there are other powers, angels, principalities, up to God himself, who governs the course of this world, and to whom we may leave the final adjustment. Who are meant seems purposely to be left undetermined; but the thought of the righteous Judge of all is intimated in accordance with the view of Ecclesiastes 3:17. This is a far more satisfactory explanation of the passage than that which regards as the highest of all "the court favorites, king's friends, eunuchs, chamberlains," etc. In this view Koheleth is merely asserting the general system of injustice and oppression, and neither accounting for it nor offering any comfort under the circumstances. But his object throughout is to show man's inability to secure his own happiness, and the need of submission to Divine providence. To demonstrate the anomalies in the events of the world, the circumstances of men's lives would be only one part of his task, which would not be completed without turning attention to the remedy against hasty and unfair conclusions. This remedy is the thought of the supreme Disposer of events, who holds all the strings in his hand, and will in the end bring good out of evil. 5:4-8 When a person made engagements rashly, he suffered his mouth to cause his flesh to sin. The case supposes a man coming to the priest, and pretending that his vow was made rashly, and that it would be wrong to fulfil it. Such mockery of God would bring the Divine displeasure, which might blast what was thus unduly kept. We are to keep down the fear of man. Set God before thee; then, if thou seest the oppression of the poor, thou wilt not find fault with Divine Providence; nor think the worse of the institution of magistracy, when thou seest the ends of it thus perverted; nor of religion, when thou seest it will not secure men from suffering wrong. But though oppressors may be secure, God will reckon for all.
Jump to Previous
Cruel Denied District Eyed High Higher Highest Judgment Justice Law Marvel Matter Official Officials Ones Oppressed Oppression Others Perversion Perverting Poor Province Regardeth Right Righteousness Rights Seest Shocked Sight Surprised Violent Violently Watched Watches Wonder Yoke
Jump to Next
Cruel Denied District Eyed High Higher Highest Judgment Justice Law Marvel Matter Official Officials Ones Oppressed Oppression Others Perversion Perverting Poor Province Regardeth Right Righteousness Rights Seest Shocked Sight Surprised Violent Violently Watched Watches Wonder Yoke
Links
Ecclesiastes 5:8 NIV
Ecclesiastes 5:8 NLT
Ecclesiastes 5:8 ESV
Ecclesiastes 5:8 NASB
Ecclesiastes 5:8 KJV

Ecclesiastes 5:8 Bible Apps
Ecclesiastes 5:8 Biblia Paralela
Ecclesiastes 5:8 Chinese Bible
Ecclesiastes 5:8 French Bible
Ecclesiastes 5:8 German Bible

Alphabetical: a and another are at be both by denial denied district do eyed for higher If in is justice not of official officials one oppressed oppression others over poor province righteousness rights see shocked sight still such surprised the them there things watches you

OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 5:8 If you see the oppression (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Ecclesiastes 5:7
Top of Page
Top of Page