Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Obey the king's command, I say, because you took an oath before God.
New Living Translation
Obey the king since you vowed to God that you would.
English Standard Version
I say: Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him.
Berean Study Bible
Keep the king’s command, I say, because of your oath before God.
King James Bible
I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.
New King James Version
I say, “Keep the king’s commandment for the sake of your oath to God.
New American Standard Bible
I say, “Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God.
I say, "Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God.
I say, “Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God.
I counsel you to keep the command of the king because of the oath before God [by which you swore loyalty to him].
Christian Standard Bible
Keep the king’s command because of your oath made before God.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Keep the king's command because of your oath made before God.
American Standard Version
I counsel thee , Keep the king's command, and that in regard of the oath of God.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The mouth of the King keep, and do not be hasty concerning the word of the oath of God
Brenton Septuagint Translation
Observe the commandment of the king, and that because of the word of the oath of God.
Contemporary English Version
If you promised God that you would be loyal to the king, I advise you to keep that promise.
I observe the mouth of the king, and the commandments of the oath of God.
English Revised Version
I counsel thee, Keep the king's command, and that in regard of the oath of God.
Good News Translation
Do what the king says, and don't make any rash promises to God.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
I [advise] you to obey the king's commands because of the oath you took in God's presence.
International Standard Version
I advise doing what the king says, especially regarding an oath to God.
JPS Tanakh 1917
I [counsel thee]: keep the king's command, and that in regard of the oath of God.
Literal Standard Version
I [counsel]: keep the command of a king, even for the sake of an oath [to] God.
Obey the king's command, because you took an oath before God to be loyal to him.
New Heart English Bible
Keep the king's command, because of the oath to God.
World English Bible
I say, "Keep the king's command!" because of the oath to God.
Young's Literal Translation
I pray thee, the commandment of a king keep, even for the sake of the oath of God.
Additional Translations ...
ContextObey the King
1Who is like the wise man? Who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom brightens his face, and the sternness of his face is changed. 2Keep the king’s command, I say, because of your oath before God. 3Do not hasten to leave his presence, and do not persist in a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases.…
an oath before the LORD shall be made between the parties to determine whether or not the man has taken his neighbor's property. The owner must accept the oath and require no restitution.
2 Samuel 21:7
Now the king spared Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath before the LORD between David and Jonathan son of Saul.
He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Seeing that he gave his hand in pledge yet did all these things, he will not escape!'
Treasury of Scripture
I counsel you to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.
Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
Romans 13:1-4 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God…
Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
1 Kings 2:43 Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with?
1 Chronicles 29:24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.
Ezekiel 17:13-20 And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land: …
the gap no doubt give the right sense. It may be mentioned that Ecclesiastes is characterised by a superfluous use of the pronoun "I" after the verb, just as if in Latin we constantly had, instead of "dixi," "dixi ego." The counsels given here and Ecclesiastes 10:4 are not what we should expect from Solomon, but rather from one who had himself lived under a despotism.
The oath of God.--Unsuccessful attempts have been made to find in these words a definite historic reference. It is idle to quote the fact recorded by Josephus that Ptolemy Lagus secured the allegiance of his Jewish subjects by exacting an oath from them. This book has no connection with Egypt, and we need not look beyond the Bible for proof that an oath of vassalage was imposed on the Jews by their foreign masters, and that the breach of such an oath was regarded by the prophets as sin (2Chronicles 36:13; Ezekiel 17:13; Ezekiel 17:16; Ezekiel 17:18). And there is reason to think that similar pledges had been given to native kings (1Samuel 10:3; 1Chronicles 29:24; 2Chronicles 23:3).Verse 2. - I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment. The pronoun I stands in the Hebrew without a verb (the Vulgate, Ego os regis observo, is not warranted by the grammar of the clause), and some take it as the answer to the question in ver. 1, "Who is like the wise man?" I, who am now teaching you. But it is better to regard the pronoun as emphasizing the following rule, supplying some verb (which may possibly have dropped out of the text), as, "Say, advise - I, for my part, whatever others may do or advise, I counsel thee;" the injunction being given in the imperative mood. The Septuagint and Syriac omit the pronoun altogether. The warning implies that the writer was living under kingly, and indeed despotic, government, and it was the part of a wise man to exhibit cheerful obedience. Ben-Sira observes that wise men teach us how to serve great men (Ecclus. 8:8). Such conduct is not only prudent, but really a religious- duty, even as the prophets counsel submission to Assyrian and Chaldean rulers (see Jeremiah 27:12; Jeremiah 29:7; Ezekiel 17:15). The liege lord, being God's vicegerent, must be reverenced and obeyed. St. Paul, though he does not quote Ecclesiastes, may have had this passage in mind when he wrote (Romans 13:1), "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God," etc.; and (ver. 5), "Ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake." The "king" in the text is understood by some to mean God, but the following clause renders this improbable, and it is wisdom in its political aspect that is here regarded. And that in regard of the oath of God. The ray is explicative; "in regard of," or "because of," as Ecclesiastes 3:18. "The oath of God" is the oath of allegiance to the king, taken in the name of God, under his invocation (comp. Exodus 22:11; 1 Kings 2:43). So we read (2 Kings 11:17) of a covenant between king and people, and people and king, in the time of Jehoiada; Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah swear by God to be his vassal (2 Chronicles 36:13); and Josephus ('Ant.,' 12:1; 11:8. 3) relates that Ptolemy Soter, son of Lagus (following herein the example of Darius), exacted an oath from the Jews in Egypt to be true to him and his successors. We know that both Babylonian and Persian monarchs exacted an oath of fealty from conquered nations, making them swear by the gods whom they worshipped, the selection of deities being left to them,
Parallel Commentaries ...
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's 8104: To hedge about, guard, to protect, attend to
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4428: A king
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 6310: The mouth, edge, portion, side, according to
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's 589: I
Conjunctive waw | Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 7621: Something sworn, an oath
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative
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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 8:2 I say Keep the king's command! (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)