Ecclesiastes 8:4
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?”

Berean Study Bible
For the king’s word is supreme, and who can 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?

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

Contemporary English Version
The king's word is law. No one can ask him, "Why are you doing this?"

Good News Translation
The king acts with authority, and no one can challenge what he does.

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?"

New Heart English Bible
for the king's word is supreme. Who 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.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Forasmuch as the king's word hath power; and who may say unto him: 'What doest thou?'

New American Standard 1977
Since the word of the king is authoritative, who will say to him, “What are you 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?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
even as a king having power: and who will say to 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?'
Study Bible
Obey the King
3Do not hasten to leave his presence, and do not persist in a bad cause, for he will do whatever he wants. 4For the king’s word is supreme, and who can say to him, “What are you doing?” 5Whoever keeps his command will come to no harm, and a wise heart knows the right time and procedure.…
Cross References
Job 9:12
If He snatches away, who can hinder Him? Who can say to Him, 'What are You doing?'

Daniel 4:35
All the peoples of the earth are counted as nothing, and He does as He pleases with the army of heaven and the peoples of the earth. There is no one who can restrain 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; and he fell upon him that he died…

Proverbs 19:12
The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.

Proverbs 20:2
The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.

what

Job 33:12,13
Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man…

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

Romans 9:20
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?







Lexicon
For
בַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר (ba·’ă·šer)
Preposition-b | Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

the king’s
מֶ֖לֶךְ (me·leḵ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4428: A king

word
דְּבַר־ (də·ḇar-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1697: A word, a matter, thing, a cause

is supreme,
שִׁלְט֑וֹן (šil·ṭō·wn)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7983: Mastery

and who
וּמִ֥י (ū·mî)
Conjunctive waw | Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4310: Who?, whoever, in oblique construction with prefix, suffix

can say
יֹֽאמַר־ (yō·mar-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

to him,
ל֖וֹ (lōw)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew

“What
מַֽה־ (mah-)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

are you doing?”
תַּעֲשֶֽׂה׃ (ta·‘ă·śeh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make
(4) Power.--The word used here and Ecclesiastes 5:8, only occurs again in the Chaldee part of Daniel. In the latter part of the Hebrew verse is one of the many reminiscences of the work of Job (Job 9:12; see also Wisdom Of Solomon 12:12).

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." 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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