Ecclesiastes 8:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it.

King James Bible
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

American Standard Version
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power over the day of death; and there is no discharge in war: neither shall wickedness deliver him that is given to it.

Douay-Rheims Bible
It is not in man's power to stop the spirit, neither hath he power in the day of death, neither is he suffered to rest when war is at hand, neither shall wickedness save the wicked.

English Revised Version
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power over the day of death; and there is no discharge in that war: neither shall wickedness deliver him that is given to it.

Webster's Bible Translation
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

Ecclesiastes 8:8 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The faithfulness of subjects, Koheleth says, is a religious duty: "I say: Observe well the kings' command, and that because of the oath of God." The author cannot have written Ecclesiastes 8:2 as it here stands; אני hovers in the air. Hitzig reads, with Jerome, שׁמר, and hears in Ecclesiastes 8:2-4 a servile person speaking who veils himself in the cloak of religion; in Ecclesiastes 8:5-8 follows the censura of this corrupt theory. but we have already remarked that Ecclesiastes 8:2 accords with Romans 13:5, and is thus not a corrupt theory; besides, this distribution of the expressions of the Book of Koheleth between different speakers is throughout an expedient resting on a delusion. Luther translates: I keep the word of the king, and thus reads אשׁרּ; as also does the Jer. Sanhedrin 21b, and Koheleth rabba, under this passage: I observe the command of the king, of the queen. In any case, it is not God who is meant here by "the king;" the words: "and that because of the oath of God," render this impossible, although Hengst. regards it as possible; for (1) "the oath of God" he understands, against all usage, of the oath which is taken to God; and (2) he maintains that in the O.T. scarcely any passage is to be found where obedience to a heathen master is set forth as a religious duty. But the prophets show themselves as morally great men, without a stain, just in this, that they decidedly condemn and unhesitatingly chastise any breach of faith committed against the Assyrian or Chaldean oppressor, e.g., Isaiah 28:15; Isaiah 30:1; Ezekiel 17:15; cf. Jeremiah 27:12. However, although we understand mělěk not of the heavenly, but of an earthly king, yet אשׁמר does not recommend itself, for Koheleth records his experience, and derives therefrom warnings and admonitions; but he never in this manner presents himself as an example of virtue. The paraenetic imper. שׁמר is thus not to be touched. Can we then use ani elliptically, as equivalent to "I say as follows"? Passages such as Jeremiah 20:10 (Elst.), where לאמר is omitted, are not at all the same. Also Ezekiel 34:11, where הנני is strengthened by ani, and the expression is not elliptical, is not in point here. And Isaiah 5:9 also does not apply to the case of the supposed ellipsis here. In an ingenious bold manner the Midrash helps itself in Leviticus 18 and Numbers 14, for with reference to the self-introduction of royal words like פרעה אני it explains: "Observe the I from the mouth of the king." This explanation is worthy of mention, but it has little need of refutation; it is also contrary to the accentuation, which gives Pashta to ani, as to ראה, Ecclesiastes 7:27, and לבד, Ecclesiastes 7:29, and thus places it by itself. Now, since this elliptical I, after which we would place a colon, is insufferably harsh, and since also it does not recommend itself to omit it, as is done by the lxx, the Targ., and Syr., - for the words must then have a different order, המלך פי שׁמר, - it is most advisable to supply אמרתּי, and to write אם אני or אני אם, after Ecclesiastes 2:1; Ecclesiastes 3:17-18. We find ourselves here, besides, within an I section, consisting of sentences interwoven in a Mashal form. The admonition is solemnly introduced, since Koheleth, himself a king, and a wise man in addition, gives it the support of the authority of his person, in which it is to be observed that the religious motive introduced by ו explic. (vid., Ewald, 340b) is not merely an appendix, but the very point of the admonition. Kleinert, incorrectly: "Direct thyself according to the mouth of the king, and that, too, as according to an oath of God." Were this the meaning, then we might certainly wish that it were a servile Alexandrian court-Jew who said it. But why should that be the meaning? The meaning "wegen" because of, which is usually attributed to the word-connection עלדברת here and at Ecclesiastes 3:18; Ecclesiastes 7:14, Kleinert maintains to be an arbitrary invention. But it alone fits these three passages, and why an arbitrary invention? If על־דּבר, Psalm 45:5; Psalm 79:9, etc., means "von wegen" on account of, then also על־דברת will signify "propter rationem, naturam," as well as (Psalm 110:4) ad rationem. שׁב אל is, as elsewhere שׁב יה, e.g., Exodus 22:10, a promise given under an appeal to God, a declaration or promise strengthened by an oath. Here it is the oath of obedience which is meant, which the covenant between a king and his people includes, though it is not expressly entered into by individuals. The king is designated neither as belonging to the nation, nor as a foreigner; that which is said is valid also in the case of the latter. Daniel, Nehemiah, Mordecai, etc., acted in conformity with the words of Koheleth, and the oath of vassalage which the kings of Israel and Judah swore to the kings of Assyria and of Babylon is regarded by the prophets of both kingdoms as binding on king and people.

Ecclesiastes 8:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

is no

Ecclesiastes 3:21 Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?

2 Samuel 14:14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither does God respect any person...

Job 14:5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with you, you have appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

Job 34:14 If he set his heart on man, if he gather to himself his spirit and his breath;

Psalm 49:6-9 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches...

Psalm 89:48 What man is he that lives, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment:

power

1 Corinthians 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him...

discharge

Deuteronomy 20:1-8 When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, and chariots, and a people more than you, be not afraid of them...

2 Kings 7:15 And they went after them to Jordan: and, see, all the way was full of garments and vessels...

neither

Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 52:5-7 God shall likewise destroy you for ever, he shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place...

Psalm 73:18 Surely you did set them in slippery places: you cast them down into destruction.

Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous has hope in his death.

Isaiah 28:15,18 Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement...

Cross References
Psalm 49:7
Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life,

Ecclesiastes 8:13
But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.

Jump to Previous
Authority Battle Contain Control Death Deliver Discharge Discharged Evil Free Power Practice Restrain Retain Ruler Safe Sinner Spirit Time War Wickedness Wind
Jump to Next
Authority Battle Contain Control Death Deliver Discharge Discharged Evil Free Power Practice Restrain Retain Ruler Safe Sinner Spirit Time War Wickedness Wind
Links
Ecclesiastes 8:8 NIV
Ecclesiastes 8:8 NLT
Ecclesiastes 8:8 ESV
Ecclesiastes 8:8 NASB
Ecclesiastes 8:8 KJV

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

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Ecclesiastes 8:7
Top of Page
Top of Page