Ecclesiastes 8
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1Who is really wise? Who knows how to interpret this saying: "A person's wisdom improves his appearance, softening a harsh countenance."1Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man's wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.
2I advise doing what the king says, especially regarding an oath to God. 2I say, "Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God.
3Don't be in a hurry to leave him, and don't persist in evil, for he does whatever he pleases. 3"Do not be in a hurry to leave him. Do not join in an evil matter, for he will do whatever he pleases."
4Since a king's command is powerful, who is able to challenge him, asking, "What are you doing?"4Since the word of the king is authoritative, who will say to him, "What are you doing?"
5Whoever obeys his commands will not experience harm, and the wise in heart will discern both the appropriate time and response.5He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure.
6Indeed, there is an appropriate time and a response for every circumstance, since human misery weighs heavily upon him. 6For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man's trouble is heavy upon him.
7For he has absolutely no knowledge what will happen, since who can declare to him when it will come about? 7If no one knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen?
8Just as no human being has control over the wind to restrain it, so also no human being has control over the day of his death. Just as no one is discharged during war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.8No man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of death; and there is no discharge in the time of war, and evil will not deliver those who practice it.
9I observed all this, and carefully considered everything that is undertaken on earth, especially the time when someone dominates another to his detriment. 9All this I have seen and applied my mind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt.
10So I watched the wicked being entombed. They used to come in and out of the Holy Place, but now they are forgotten in the city, where they used to work. This, too, is pointless.10So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility.
11Whenever a sentence for a crime is not carried out swiftly, the human mind becomes determined to commit evil. 11Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.
12Even though a sinner does what is wrong a hundred times and still survives, nevertheless I also know that things will go well for those who fear God, who fear in his presence. 12Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly.
13But things will not go well for the wicked person: he will not lengthen his life like a shadow, since he has no fear before God.13But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God.
14Here is a pointless thing that happens on earth: A righteous man receives what happens to the wicked, and a wicked man receives what happens to the righteous. I concluded that this, too, is pointless. 14There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.
15So then I recommended enjoyment of life, because it is better on earth for a man to eat, drink, and be happy, since this will stay with him throughout his struggle all the days of his life, which God grants him on earth.15So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.
16When I dedicated myself to experience wisdom and to observe what is undertaken on earth—even going without sleep day and night— 16When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should never sleep day or night),
17I saw all of it as the activity of God. Frankly, a human being cannot understand what happens on earth, because however hard a man works to discover it, he will not find out. Despite what he thinks he knows, he will not be able to figure it out.17and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, "I know," he cannot discover.
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Ecclesiastes 7
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